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  • The helmet debate continues

    Interesting article... food for thought.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/01/sp...ries.html?_r=0

  • #2
    Saw that article. I guess a study should somehow account for the greater numbers of tree and park skiers, trail edge jumpers and the overall number of skiers/riders. And the number of head bumps that turned out to be nothing much that would have been serious without a helmet. Several more parameters as well, I'm sure.

    I'll continue wearing my helmet unless they can prove it causes worse injuries in the vast majority of cases.

    Comment


    • #3
      Experts agree that the roots of the trend are complicated and could be related to increased awareness about brain injuries and reporting of them. But they also agreed on one element underpinning the trend: an increase in risk-taking behaviors that they said the snow-sports industry had embraced. In recent years, many resorts have built bigger features in their terrain parks and improved access to more extreme terrain. At the same time, advances in equipment have made it easier to ski faster, perform tricks and venture out of bounds.
      I wonder how dangerous terrain parks are specifically- they certainly look dangerous with all that metal
      Reluctant enthusiast, part-time crusader, half-hearted fanatic

      Comment


      • #4
        Also - skis and snowboards that make high speed riding more stable. Used to be with $hitty skinny skis $hitty skiers would yard sale at safe speeds before reaching more dangerous speeds. At least that's how I see it.

        I also think they should have made it clear right after "Although he was wearing a helmet, he sustained injuries that have left him fighting for his life in a hospital in Grenoble, France" that without the helmet he likely would never have gotten the chance to fight since his brains would likely be splattered all over the rock on the run.
        Last edited by SkaredShtles; 2 January 2014, 01:13 PM.

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        • #5
          I suppose we can analyze individual incidents (Schumacher) where n=1 forever. However, the issue that caught my attention is this:

          "Although skiers and snowboarders in the United States are wearing helmets more than ever — 70 percent of all participants, nearly triple the number from 2003 — there has been no reduction in the number of snow-sports-related fatalities or brain injuries in the country, according to the National Ski Areas Association
          ."

          I'm not arguing for or against helmet use. I just find this fact interesting and somewhat counter-intuitive.

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          • #6
            Sometimes a skull fracture can mitigate the effects of inter cranial hemorrhage. I've seen many folks with open skull fractures that I thought would certainly die survive and I've also seen closed head injuries that were fatal without intervention.
            Helmet aren't bad, they just aren't as effective as people would like to believe.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by NoPin View Post
              I suppose we can analyze individual incidents (Schumacher) where n=1 forever. However, the issue that caught my attention is this:

              "Although skiers and snowboarders in the United States are wearing helmets more than ever — 70 percent of all participants, nearly triple the number from 2003 — there has been no reduction in the number of snow-sports-related fatalities or brain injuries in the country, according to the National Ski Areas Association
              ."

              I'm not arguing for or against helmet use. I just find this fact interesting and somewhat counter-intuitive.

              What's also interesting about this fact is that skier and snowboarder participation trending downward.

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              • #8
                [QUOTE=airinwrite;7527Helmet aren't bad, they just aren't as effective as people would like to believe.[/QUOTE]

                I wonder if someone is likely to take bigger risks because they feel protected by their helmet?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by NoPin View Post
                  I wonder if someone is likely to take bigger risks because they feel protected by their helmet?
                  I wouldn't speculate on that, everyone will say it has no effect on their behavior. Most common thing I hear from folks with helmets is that they're warm and have built in audio for their tunes.

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                  • #10
                    My helmet mostly comes in handy for minor brushes with smaller branches when crashing through trees. I don't want nasty scrapes and contusions on my head even if they are not life-threatening. It has played a bigger role a couple of times and there is no way I would ever ski without a helmet again. Comfortable, light, warm... What's the big deal?

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                    • #11
                      There is no big deal, they are nice plastic covered styrofoam hats. Light, dry and warm.

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                      • #12
                        In UT you can legally ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet. Doctors call them "doner-cycles." Sorry Aaron, even if those cases exist, they are far outnumbered by the cases in which helmets WOULD have saved lives...

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                        • #13
                          Yeah. Helmets keep the nog warm and help more with the minor smacks against hard snow. I hate that concussion like feeling when your head slaps the snow without any protection - not enough to damage to enough to rattle you.

                          Maybe helmets aren't as effective as people think they are but I dunno. Do I really want to test the idea that a skull fracture is less damaging than results from a concussion?

                          IMO, the real reason to have a helmet is to avoid the head trauma caused by an errant skier slamming into you. I think the odds of that happening are far higher than catching an edge and ending up like humpty dumpty.
                          Drive the cuff!

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                          • #14
                            ^^^ This is true. The greatest risk to in-bounds skiers is collisions and that often means getting slammed off your feet and onto your head. Myself I wore a helmet for 2 or 3 years wondering why I bothered before I was forever convinced that I would never ski without. It was a silly slow fall where I caught a ski coming out of the soft snow in trees to an icy groomed run. Somehow I did a 180 and really cracked the back of my head on the ice. The bucket totally protected me and I know it would have been lights out without it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jones View Post
                              In UT you can legally ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet. Doctors call them "doner-cycles." Sorry Aaron, even if those cases exist, they are far outnumbered by the cases in which helmets WOULD have saved lives...
                              So with increased helmet use, nearly 70% of riders, and decreased skier and boarder participation head injuries are increasing. Something is amiss. I don't dispute that snowsports helmets help mitigate minor head injuries but they fall short in preventing TBI and death in major impacts. If you really want something to protect your noggin, why not wear a motorcycle helmet while skiing?
                              Again, I'm not against helmets just pointing out they fall short of protecting people the way they think they do. It's a lot like airbags for skiers.

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