Is it time to make ski helmets compulsory?
Posted: January 7, 2014
Posted in: Head and Brain Injuries Personal Injury
Following Michael Schumacher’s recent accident on the slopes, the question has been raised as to whether or not ski helmets should be made compulsory. Even though Michael Schumacher had been wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, which cracked in half on impact, a neurosurgeon from King’s College in London said that it would have “minimised the severity of injury”, and most probably saved his life.
A recent study carried out by a brain injury charity – Headway – unveiled that the impact on a skull protected by a helmet was “four times less” than on an unprotected skull. The charity carried out many tests on crash dummies to examine the benefits of wearing a helmet when skiing/snowboarding. It was found that the lining of the helmet absorbs a high level of the impact; the acceleration of the head is reduced; and the force on the skull is spread over a larger surface area.
However, there is one boundary to be crossed before helmets are introduced as a compulsory measure for skiers and snowboarders: there has not, as of yet, been any official evidence to support the fact that the wearing of helmets has reduced the number of head injuries. Many skiers and snowboarders argue that they simply do not want to be restricted by a helmet, with others arguing that this may encourage skiers/snowboarders to be more reckless on the slopes.
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