I’ve worn a helmet while skiing for about 20 years now, a move I was initially prompted to make while tending to a good friend of mine who had managed to shatter both of his legs after falling off a cliff at Whistler. He wasn’t wearing a helmet, and it’s not really like the presence of one might have saved his fibula, but the incident still gave me pause.
That being said, I’ve never had any delusions about the limitations the “brain bucket” has when it came to my safety. If I walloped into a tree or fell into a ravine at full speed, odds are the plastic protection on my head wasn’t going to work miracles. But it could still protect from minor mishaps, and, frankly, it is warmer than wearing a hat anyway.
But the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery recently released the results of a study by researchers Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center that claim “helmeted skiers and snowboarders evaluated at a Level I trauma center were more likely to suffer severe injury.”
Sixty-five percent of the 721 injured skiers and riders evaluated by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center’s trauma service in Lebanon, N.H. from November, 2010 to April, 2018 were wearing helmets the study said. Overall helmet use also nearly doubled from that time period — from 49 to 81 percent — and the study found there was no real difference between wearing a helmet or not when it came to serious injury.