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Are Snow Skiing and Snowboarding Safe?

Are Snow Skiing and Snowboarding Safe?

Are Snow Skiing and Snowboarding Safe?

November 28, 2011
By: Scott Distasio
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The arrival of winter turns many American's thoughts toward blankets of snow. This can inspire some to venture north for snow skiing or snowboarding. Others avoid these activities, out of fear of injury.

Of course with every potentially dangerous activity, there is a risk of injury. Certainly that possibility is there for snow skiing and snowboarding. Simply put, people who engage in the activity know they may get hurt. Lawyers call this assumption of the risk. But are the fears justified?

It is impossible to eliminate the risks of injury that are inherent in the activity. But the risk of injury can be reduced substantially by focusing on reducing injuries that occur as a result of things that can be controlled. For example, a large number of people were getting injured while snow skiing because of faulty equipment. By focusing on improving the safety of the equipment, snow skiing related injuries have actually declined by 50% over the past forty years.

On the other hand, snowboarding is a relatively new activity compared to snow skiing. As the number of people engaging in the activity has exploded, the number of injuries has more than doubled. Part of the increase is due to the simple fact that many more people are engaging in snowboarding. Another reason may be that the types of people that are attracted to snowboarding are much more likely to push the envelope while racing down the mountain.

The truth is that with proper training and observation of mountain safety laws, both snow skiing and snowboarding can be enjoyed without injury. First timers should take lessons and those with experience should take it easy for the first day back. In addition, all skiers should familiarize themselves with the mountain terrain and the Ski laws applicable to the particular mountain they have chosen.

Ski laws vary from state to state and 23 states have specific ski liability laws. While the laws have some differences, they all give the right or way to the downhill skier. In addition, most states, require the parties involved in skiing collisions to stop and render aid. They must also give their names, local addresses, permanent addresses and identification. Lastly, negligent or reckless skiers are typically held financially responsible when they cause collisions.
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