ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Do you have plans to go skiing or snowboarding this winter? If so, sprinkle some safety on top; it could save you a lot of pain, suffering and money.
According to a study out of the Rochester Institute of Technology, up to 3 out of every 1,000 ski visits will result in an injury.
Snowboarding is even more dangerous. Researchers estimate six out of every 1,000 snowboarders will end up in the hospital.
Rochester personal injury attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say ski and snowboard injuries are often very serious and few families are prepared for such a sudden and large medical bill.
“The slopes can be dangerous and filled with unexpected hazards and if the proper safety precautions are ignored, families can be dealing with a devastating and expensive injury,” Rochester personal injury attorney Ross Cellino said. “In many cases, injuries can be very similar to the injuries people suffer in car accidents like broken bones, torn ligaments, spinal injuries, or head trauma.”
Academic studies on ski and snowboard accidents are rare – but doctors estimated the total cost of these accidents to be over $22,000 in 1996. That’s roughly equivalent $33,500 today.
Doctors say the most common skiing injuries affect the knees and they often require reconstructive surgery.
Snowboarders are more likely to suffer wrist sprains and fractures because of the manner in which they fall.
“These injuries sometimes happen because those who maintain the slopes failed to clear hazards or make the slopes safe for skiiers and snowboarders,” Cellino said. “But we also see those who are less experienced attempt to navigate a difficult slope.”
Doctors and attorneys off the following recommendations to avoid a ski or snowboard accident:
- Warm-up. Properly stretching and exercising every day can improve posture and endurance, preventing falls.
- Don’t overdo it. If you start to feel fatigued, take a rest. When your muscles are worn out, they’re more susceptible to injury.
- Take the bunny hill. Especially for those who are new to skiing, the more difficult terrains can pose a number of dangers. If you’re not an expert, avoid the expert slope – they sometimes have unmarked obstacles.
- Wear the right safety equipment. Properly selecting a ski size and getting fitted for a helmet is extremely important. Make sure you’re always wearing protective equipment – even when you’re stopped. Another skier could run into you at any time.
Also, know the statistics. Most injuries are caused by falls and collisions. Be aware of your surroundings on the slopes and become familiar with the terrain.
If you have any doubts about your skill level, don’t try the downhill slalom course. Rochester personal injury attorneys say it’s better to enjoy a day on the slopes than a day in the hospital.