7 Ways to Prevent Snowboarding Injuries this Winter Season
Utah is famous for having some of the best snowboarding slopes in the country, mostly concentrated near Salt Lake City along the hills of the Wasatch Range. But whether you’re a local, or among the thousands of visitors who come from afar to enjoy our slopes, there’s one place you definitely don’t want your day on the mountain to end: in a hospital bed. Fortunately, by taking some simple precautions, you can significantly reduce your risk of being injured while snowboarding at a mountain resort. Salt Lake City snowboarding accident lawyer Darwin Overson offers seven easy tips to reduce your risk of an injury this winter.
7 Snowboarding Injury Prevention Tips
Statistically speaking, serious snowboarding injuries are rare. According to a report by the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), “The rate of serious injury in 2011/12 was one per million skier/snowboarder visits.”
However, hundreds of people are still injured or killed in preventable accidents each year. As the NSAA also notes, more than 500 people were seriously injured during the same winter season, while more than 50 people were tragically killed.
Some factors make certain people more likely to be hurt or fatally injured than others. For example, the risk of wrongful death is highest among males in their late teens to early thirties. And, somewhat surprisingly, above-average snowboarders are more likely to be killed than beginners.
Fortunately, regardless of your age, gender, or snowboarding experience level, you can lower your risk of injury by making sure you always follow these seven injury prevention tips.
- Do stretches. Cold muscles are less flexible, and therefore more susceptible to damage. Before you gear up, devote at least five or ten minutes to some gentle stretching to warm up your muscles and lower the risk of a soft tissue injury like a strain.
- Stay well-rested. We know you’re excited to hit the slopes, especially if you’ve been driving all day to get here. However, snowboarding while you’re tired greatly increases the risk of injury because fatigue reduces reaction speed. If you start to feel tired, get off the slopes. That extra hour of daylight isn’t worth a spinal cord injury caused by fatigue.
- Remember to hydrate. Snowboarding is intense physical work, which means you need plenty of water to stay hydrated. Dehydration increases your risk of getting dizzy and fainting, which is the last thing you want to occur while you’re speeding down a steep mountain slope.
- Be alert. The slopes can get crowded during the peak of the season, which increases the risk of a collision on the mountain. Stay alert and defensive while you snowboard, just like you would while driving, and yield the right-of-way to people who are ahead of you. Remember: state law generally prohibits the recovery of compensation for injuries caused by collisions between snowboarders (or snowboarders and skiers).
- Check your gear. Faulty equipment and poorly-adjusted gear are common causes of preventable snowboarding injuries. Double-check each buckle and strap to make sure everything fits snugly and securely, and always ask an instructor when in doubt. A ski resort may be liable if a guest is injured due to defective snowboarding equipment.
- Wear wrist braces. Since both feet will be strapped to your snowboard, in a fall your instinct will be to stick out your arms. This impact can lead to a nasty wrist injury, like a sprained wrist or even a wrist fracture. Wearing a brace will give your wrists extra support in the event of an accidental fall on the slopes.
- Always wear a helmet. This might be the most important snowboarding safety tip of all. Snowboarding without a helmet is like driving without a seatbelt, and greatly increases your risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI). According to the NSAA, wearing a helmet reduces the incidence of head injuries by anywhere from 30% to 50%.
Utah Snowboarding Accident Lawyer Handling Injury Claims Against Ski Resorts
In Utah, mountain resorts and ski areas have a duty to provide guests with safe equipment and see that employees perform their job duties adequately. When a resort guest is injured by faulty equipment, a ski lift accident, or other accidents or hazards resulting from ski resort negligence, financial compensation may be available for medical bills and other expenses.
Popular ski and mountain resorts in Utah include Alta Ski Area, Brighton Resort, Deer Valley Resort, Nordic Valley Resort, Park City Mountain Resort, Powder Mountain Resort, Snowbasin Resort, Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort, and Solitude Mountain Resort. If you or one of your family members was injured while snowboarding at these or other resorts in Utah, Park City Mountain Resort snowboarding accident attorney Darwin Overson may be able to help you get compensated. To set up a free and confidential legal consultation, call the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 895-3143 right away.