Many Dallas residents have heard about Michael Schumacher and the unfortunate skiing accident he suffered recently. The famous Formula One driver was skiing in France when he fell and hit his head on a rock. The story has received extensive coverage as the 45-year-old fights for his life in a French hospital.
What many people will wonder is "was Schumacher wearing a ski helmet when his fateful fall occurred?" And the answer is yes, he was. So why didn't the helmet protect him from suffering a serious brain injury? Well, according to many professionals, ski helmets don't do that much to protect skiers from serious head injuries.
Since 2003 the number of skiing participants in the U.S. who wear a helmet has tripled, all the way up to 70 percent. Those figures are courtesy of the National Ski Areas Association, and they show that fatalities and brain injury figures have remained constant even during this rise in helmet use.
So what is the problem? Analysts believe it is a combination of helmets that don't adequately protect their users, and skiers who are pushing the boundaries of the sport (performing more dangerous tricks and going on more treacherous, even ungroomed, routes).
That means there are two things for skiers to learn from this post. First and foremost, control yourself on the slopes. Don't go thrill-seeking just for the sake of it. Some areas simply aren't meant to be skied, and avoiding the dangerous routes can keep you safe.
At the same time though, if you equipment fails you due to a defect or an inadequate design, the manufacturer of that equipment can be held liable for their poor product.