Safety on the Slopes
What’s the best winter activity? If you live in a mountainous state, a popular activity in the winter is skiing and snowboarding. There’s nothing quite like sliding down the side of a mountain. You’re picking up speed as you glide down a steep hill, wind in your face and endless vasts of white surrounding you. It can be a liberating feeling. However, the only thing keeping you safe is your ability to slow to a stop when needed. Also, you never know what’s under the snow when you’re in the middle of the mountains. Although skiing is exciting, it can be dangerous as well.
NSAA.org provides statistics from the National Ski Areas Association that state the average deaths annually for ski/snowboarding accidents is 41.5 people. There are roughly 44.7 serious injuries annually due to ski/snowboarding accidents. This same website mentions that often, ski/snowboarding accidents occur because of increased speeds in a dangerous area. If you are taking your family skiing or snowboarding, it’s a great idea to go over these tips to ensure safety awareness.
1. Do everything you can to avoid a collision with another skier or snowboarder. Be aware of your surroundings. When entering a trail, look uphill and yield to any skiers coming down the path. Be mindful of the people around you.
2. Watch for signs. When there are signs alongside the path, pay attention. It’s likely they are indicating “slow zones” or intersecting areas. These signs are especially important to your safety.
3. Take a lesson before hitting the slopes. Never underestimate the power of practice, especially with the help of an instructor.
4. Wear a helmet. Helmets protect your brain. A brain injury is one of the most severe injuries one could face following a snowboarding accident. Protect your noggin.
5. Pay attention to the quality of the snow. With packed and icy snow, it can become easier to lose control of your skis because of the loss of grip.
6. Watch your speed. Don’t let the adrenaline get the best of you; slow down when necessary.
7. If you are an experienced skier or snowboarder, it may be easy to be confident in your abilities. If you’re not being careful, this could result in injury. Never forget to be safe.