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A controlled study of collision injuries in Hemsedal, Norway, is presented. Accident data for 1982 through 1986 seasons were analyzed. A total of 883 injured skiers and 379 controls were compared for epidemiological data.
Eighteen percent (n = 158) of the injuries were due to collision. There was a great difference in collision injury rate during the recording time. A peak injury rate of 0.27/1000 skier days in 1984 when a new chairlift doubled the lift capacity without opening any new slopes declined to 0.11/ 1000 skier days in 1986 after making new slopes and widening old ones.
Beginners and children were more at risk, and 28% of the injured by collision suffered a head injury.
In conclusion, different degrees of difficulty of the slopes give a better separation between the different skiing-ability groups, and wider slopes reduce relatively the “collision zone” at the tree/ slope border. This results in safer skiing on each slope.
age, skiing ability, collision injuries, lift capacity, slope capacity, alpine skiing, slope difficulty
Medical officer of health, Hemsedal Health Center, Hemsedal,