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This paper contains an analysis of ski injuries over a three-year period from 13 ski areas across the United States. For a control group, a sample was taken from the uninjured skiing population during the middle year. The analysis compares the control group with the injured group. The rates of injury are computed, as well as the distributions of injury and accident-related data. Injury and accident causation factors, as well as demographic data, are presented. Specific injury modes relating to equipment variables (in particular, to pole grips and ski brakes) are examined. The results suggest that recent trends towards the adaptation of ski brakes are beneficial in reducing lacerations due to being hit by one's own ski. The results also suggest that molded pole grips are helpful in reducing the incidence of thumb injuries. The overall injury rate is consistent with the downward trend observed in ski injury rates over the past 30 years.
downhill skiing, skiing safety, skiing trauma, ski injuries, ski injury statistics, trend analysis
Shealy, Jasper E.
Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY