How can I avoid ski slope and snowboarding accidents?

Every year, thousands of Americans enjoy snow skiing and snowboarding. Although many become highly skilled, others are just newcomers to these sports. If you’re planning your first ski trip with your family, be sure to schedule proper lessons for everyone. After all, about 41 people lose their lives due to snow skiing each year in this country -- and hundreds more sustain serious, lifelong injuries.

If you’ve recently suffered serious snow skiing or snowboarding injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you may need to speak with Fort Worth personal injury attorney Tom Hall. He’s been representing injured clients for over 25 years. He is board certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

You can reach the Fort Worth Law Offices of Tom Hall by calling 1-817-831-6100 today. Ask to schedule your FREE consultation.

Although people who enjoy snow sports naturally downplay the dangers of their activities, our firm recognizes the importance of keeping safety in mind at all times. Here are some guidelines that can help you protect yourselves and others while having a good time.

Useful Tips for Skiing and Snowboarding Safely

  • Take (refresher) lessons. Unless you ski or snowboard several times each year, honor your personal safety and well-being by taking a refresher course on skiing/snowboarding. The instructors will often just spend a half-hour or so reminding you of critical steps you must take to fully protect yourself and your loved out on the slopes;
  • Rent or buy the best equipment available. Always start out by selecting the sturdiest helmet (that fits you properly) that you can find. Next, make sure you’re using the best skis or type of snowboard suited to your current skill level. Be willing to spend time with each of your kids to determine their skills levels – and ask one of the lodge instructors to help you make these determinations. Also, always test the safety latches and releases on your equipment so they’ll be less likely to fail you out on the slopes. Too many accidents are caused by these types of failures;
  • Remind every adult and child to avoid all daredevil stunts. Instruct your kids to leave all of the amazing tricks and stunts to the professionals. Ski closely with your entire family. Find a way to have everyone ski with at least one other person they know.  Explain to your children what types of serious accidents can happen if they take unnecessary risks;
  • Ski only when it’s easy to see outside. Avoid skiing at sunrise or dusk since your visibility on the slopes will probably be greatly reduced;
  • Always assume that upcoming trees and objects are much closer than they seem. Many skiing and snowboarding accidents happen because people forget to factor in the speed they’ve picked up while moving along.  Make sure your kids have thoroughly practiced slowing down on slopes of different heights before letting them out of your sight;
  • Be sure to personally teach your kids how to use the ski lifts properly. Too many instructors downplay how hard this maneuver can be for newcomers. Be sure to remind your kids to sit still on the lifts and also repeatedly demonstrate how they must step (or jump) off at the right time in a safe manner;
  • Wear the warmest possible ski clothes/Use good goggles that fit well with your helmet. Also, be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen. Even in the dead of winter, you can suffer sun burns on particularly bright days. Inform your family about the early signs of frost bite and insist that everyone meet together every hour or two to be sure no one has gotten lost or sustained an injury requiring immediate help. At the very least, always keep at least one adult with your kids, possibly taking turns with your spouse or another adult;
  • Be sure each person knows what to do if a serious accident occurs. Explain the steps that must be taken and note whether it’s ever permissible to leave an injured person alone in order to summon help. Tell your kids and skiing partners how to contact the ski patrols up on the slopes;
  • Plan each trip down the slopes ahead of time. Make sure everyone knows who they must stay with and remind them that no one should ever wander off alone in the woods;
  • Only ski while fully rested. It’s dangerous to take part in any sporting activity when tired since you’ll never be able to use your best judgment;
  • Take every fall and head injury seriously – and always allow medical professionals to observe you for an extended period of time after hitting your head on something. Actor Liam Neeson is still mourning the loss of his beautiful wife, actress Natasha Richardson, years after her skiing head injury caused her death. Although no one knows for sure, Ms. Richardson might have survived had she worn a helmet. Far too many adults still refuse to wear helmets while skiing and snowboarding.  

If you’ve been seriously injured in a snow skiing or snowboarding accident, you may need to speak with a Fort Worth personal injury attorney right away. Tom Hall has been practicing personal injury law for over 25 years and is board certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. You can reach the Fort Worth Law Offices of Tom Hall by calling 1-817-831-6100 today. Ask to schedule your FREE consultation.

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Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Trial Law