Skiing too fast blamed for injuries

26th February 2015, by Abi Butcher

It's not just tricks and racing that causes injuries on the ski slopes

It's not just tricks and racing that causes injuries on the ski slopes

New research has shown that one in seven people who goes on a ski holiday comes back with an injury — with a quarter of people injured on the slopes admitting it was because they had been skiing too fast.

The survey, by law firm Irwin Mitchell, found that 15% of Brits injure themselves while on a skiing holiday with more than half (51%) of those injured on the slopes admitting that they were going too fast or lacked experience, practice or training as the cause. 

After that, 17% were injured following a collision with another skier or snowboarder, while a further 17% cited “bad terrain” as the cause of their injuries — a “reason” that could be interpreted as lack of experience for the speed or level at which they were trying to ski.

But more than half (52%) of injuries resulting from skiing holidays occur while people are not actually skiing. An unsurprising 15.2% of accidents involve a ski lift — the top of a chairlift being the most dangerous place on the mountain — while another 18% of respondents who had suffered injuries said they occurred while on the street, at a restaurant or bar, or at their accommodation while on a skiing holiday. A further 14% said they had experienced injuries at an on-piste snow park.

Of those skiers who were injured, more than a quarter (27.5%) had to spend time in hospital and one in five (20.3%) had to cut their holiday short and fly home. Some 8.5% of the injured skiers and snowboarders suffered a head injury.

Sadly, the story of the injuries does not stop there. 1 in 5 (20.3%) of those injured continue to experience regular pain as a result of their accident, with almost 1 in 10 (8.5%) left unable to ski again.
Clive Garner, head of International Personal Injury Law at Irwin Mitchell, says: “Each year during the ski season we are asked to help many people who have suffered injuries abroad both while participating in winter sports or during other activities in ski resorts.

“We know from 20 years of experience, and the research supports this, that many of these accidents result in hospital treatment and leave those injured with serious and sometimes life-changing injuries. It is important that anyone affected receives the best possible legal advice, support, treatment, rehabilitation and care.

“Our research is part of a campaign to raise awareness of injuries and the impact they can have on people’s lives, so that we can try to reduce the risk of people suffering accidents.”

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