Ski helmets are life savers, say researchers
Although it may not be stipulated on your travel insurance policy, the case for wearing a ski helmet has just got a lot stronger after researchers found that your head is exerted to up to four times as much g force when you experience a collision without such protection.
The team at the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) in the UK used crash test dummies to simulate the impact of a skier’s head against a tree at speeds of 12mph and 19mph, the Telegraph reports.
It found that an unprotected head experiences a force of almost two tonnes at a speed of 12mph. The researchers neglected to test the unprotected dummy at 19mph because their calculations showed that the dummy would be seriously damaged – and would prove fatal for a human skier.
Ski helmets were also found to reduce the strain put on the neck during a collision with a solid object.
Mark Riddell, group testing manager at TRL, told the news provider: “Head injuries can be life threatening. When you consider that during the collision at 12 mph, the head experienced a force of nearly two tonnes, this is an incredible amount of strain to be put under. This research supports the argument to wear an approved ski helmet on the slopes.”
In some locations such as Italy and Austria, wearing a helmet is already compulsory for children. As Dr Mike Langran recently explained to the BBC, children are more susceptible to head injuries, while at the same time more likely to benefit from wearing a ski helmet.
However, he added it’s vital that you and your children’s helmets fit properly if they’re to have any influence over a collision.
And of course, ski helmets should never be used as a substitute for comprehensive travel insurance. In fact, head traumas make up less than 20 per cent of all ski-related injuries, so it’s essential to be protected for all eventualities.