5 Facts About Helmets You Should Know
Ever since a 2006 study suggested that bicycling helmets may actually increase the dangers of bicycling by reducing peripheral vision and changing risk taking behavior without offering any substantial protection, there has been a heated debate within both the scientific field and the skiing community regarding the effectiveness of ski helmets. Despite the anecdotal evidence and impassioned arguments of a small minority who will always prefer skiing without helmets, the overwhelming majority of research has supported the use of skiing helmets as beneficial. Here are 5 important facts about helmets for promoting awareness and understanding:
- Studies have shown that using a helmet reduces the risk of a serious head injury by 60%.
- The National Center for Biotechnology Information conducted a study comparing peripheral vision and reaction times of those wearing helmets versus those not wearing helmets–and found no significant difference.
- It is especially important for children to wear helmets, as helmets are most effective in low-speed crashes. Indeed, even the infamous Bath University bycicle study that condemned the use of biking helmets still maintained that children should use helmets at all times.
- Most ski ranges rent out helmets, so if you’re not ready to invest in owning one you can still stay safe on your occasional ski outings.
- There is a difference between skiing helmets and helmets designed for other recreational activities (biking, skating, etc.) If you do decide to purchase a helmet, be sure to make sure you’re buying quality. The Common European Norm (CEN), The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), and the Snell Memorial Foundation are three organizations that certify safety equipment, so by looking for items with one of their seals you’ll be ensuring the highest level of safety.
Check out the Beacon Watch website for more valuable information about ski safety!