This winter has, so far, been fairly underwhelming when it comes to snow totals. Due to a lack of natural powder, the few runs that have been opened at some of Colorado’s most popular ski resorts are crowded, increasing risks for collision. These risks are exacerbated by the slick and sloppy conditions being created by unseasonably warm days, days that are making resort towns like Breckenridge and Aspen look less like Christmas and more like a never-ending extension of the shoulder season.
No matter if this ski season continues as is or if unexpectedly large amounts of snow begin to fall in the High Country, if you choose to hit the slopes it is vital that you practice increased caution this year. Your actions while snowboarding or skiing will play a direct role in your safety – and may even play a role in the safety of others as well.
If you are visiting one of our ski towns and sustain an injury – on or off the slopes – Leventhal Sar LLC can help. Call our Denver ski accident attorneys at 720.667.3030 to schedule a free consultation and learn more.
Collision on the Slopes
The Denver Post reports that 10 skiers were killed on the slopes during the 2015-2016 season in Colorado. Of these fatal skiing accidents, nine involved collisions, seven of those with trees. This year, with increased traffic on open runs, collision with other skiers or boarders becomes a threat as well.
According to The Post, seven of the ten fatal ski accidents in Colorado last years occurred on blue runs. These are by far the most popular runs in Colorado Ski Country, resting just in between too hard and too easy for many weekend ski junkies. If you count yourself among this crowd, maybe this year is the one to slow down, practice caution, and make a conscious effort to improve your safety on the slopes.
You can help prevent causing or being involved in a skiing accident by remembering Colorado Ski Country’s Seven Point Responsibility Code:
- Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
- People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
- You must not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.
- Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
- Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
- Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
- Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.
You can further reduce your risk of serious injury on the slopes this season by making sure your equipment is in proper working order and choosing runs consistent with your level of experience and skill. Pay close attention to the signs on the slopes. Not only will these help you identify the difficulty of a run, they provide information about boundaries, hazards, and other items of concern. Memorize these signs to better adjust swiftly when you see them.
Of course, even the most respectful and responsible skier or snowboarder cannot always avoid being hit during a collision being caused by someone else on the slopes. When this happens and you are injured as a result, the ski accident attorneys at Leventhal Sar are here to help. Call our Denver office or use the contact form on this page to get in touch, schedule a free consultation, and learn how we can help you get justice.
Ski Helmets are Not Mandatory in Colorado
You are not required to wear a helmet while skiing or snowboarding in Colorado, but you may be encouraged to. While a 2012 University of Western Michigan report found that helmets were ineffective at preventing traumatic brain injury while skiing, this same report, and others, suggest that helmet use helps prevent lacerations and fractures. They may also help prevent death.
Ski helmets may not fully protect against TBI, but they can help prevent other serious types of injury. They may not, however, play as large a role as speed when it comes to the severity of Colorado ski country injuries.
High-speed collisions are much more dangerous than those that occur at lower speeds. Many skiers and snowboarders top speeds of 27 MPH. Most helmets offer protection up to 15 MPH. The issue, then, is not one of the helmets being ineffective, the technology to make higher speeds safe simply does not exist. The obvious answer is not to abandon helmets, but to practice slower and more controlled speeds, allowing you to react appropriately the whatever situation arises – be that a tree, a boundary fence, or another skier. Slowing down, especially on crowded slopes, will be one of the most effective tools in preventing ski accidents.
Have You Been Injured? We can Help
If you have been injured while enjoying some turns in the High Country, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Our ski accident lawyers are here to investigate your claim and determine where fault should lie. This could be with the resort, another skier, an instructor, or even a third-party maintenance and operation company. We will do everything possible to make sure each responsible party is held accountable in our quest for fair compensation.
Caring, respected, and effective, Sean Leventhal and Jonathan Sar have been listed on the Top 40 Under 40 list compiled by the National Trial Lawyers Association and Mr. Sar is listed as a Rising Star by the trusted attorney rating site, Super Lawyer. Personable and committed, both of our Denver snowboard lawyers remain personally involved in every case they take, working directly with our clients from the first consultation through the settlement or verdict process.
If you need a ski or snowboard accident lawyer in Colorado, call Leventhal Sar LLC at 720.667.3030 to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Denver, we serve the Front Range, I-70 corridor, and ski towns throughout Colorado.