Do Helmets Reduce Fatalities or Merely Alter the Patterns of Death?

  • Jasper E. Shealy
  • Robert J. Johnson
  • Carl F. Ettlinger

Abstract

The use of helmets has been proposed as a means of reducing the incidence of fatality in skiing and snowboarding. This paper presents results that suggest that while helmets may be effective at preventing minor injuries, they have not been shown to reduce the overall incidence of fatality in skiing and snowboarding even though as many as 40% of the population at risk are currently using helmets. The results indicate that the use of a helmet will indeed influence the primary cause of death, but perhaps not the ultimate outcome.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Macnab, A. J., Smith, T., Gagnon, F. A., and Macnab, M., (2002) Effect of helmet wear on the incidence of head/face and cervical spine injuries in young skiers and snowboarders, Inj. Prev. 8;324–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hegel, B., Pless, I. B., Goulet, C., Platt, R. W., and Robitaille, Y. (2005) Effectiveness of helmets in skiers and snowboarders: case-control and case crossover study, BMJ, 330:281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Mertz, H. J., Irwin, A. L., and Prasad, P. (2003) Biomechanical and scaling bases for frontal and side impact injury assessment reference values. Stapp Car Crash J. 47:155–158.Google Scholar
  4. Patrick, L. M., Mertz, H., and Kroell, C. K., (1993) Cadaver knee, chest and head impact loads, Biomechanics of Impact Injury Tolerances of the Head-Neck Complex, PT-43, Stanley H. Backaitis, Ed., Society of Automobile Engineers, Inc., pp. 255–263.Google Scholar
  5. Scher, I., Richards, D., and Carhart, M. (2005) Head contact after catching an edge: An examination of snowboarding helmets. Presented at ISSS 15, Akai, Japan April 2004.Google Scholar
  6. Shealy, J. E., Ettlinger, C. F., and Johnson, R. J. (2000) Rates and modalities of death in the U. S.: Snowboarding and skiing differences-1991/92 through 1998/99. Skiing Trauma and Safety: Thirteenth International Symposium, ASTM STP 1397, American Society for Testing and Materials, West Conshohocken PA pp. 132–138.Google Scholar
  7. Shealy, J. E., Ettlinger, C. F., and Johnson, R. J. (2005) How fast do winter sports participants travel on alpine slopes? Skiing Trauma and Safety: Fifhteenth International Symposium, ASTM STP 1464, American Society for Testing and Materials, West Conshohocken PA pp. 59–66.Google Scholar
  8. Skiing Helmets: An Evaluation of the Potential to Reduce Head Injury, (January 1999) U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, D. C., 20207, 17 pages.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jasper E. Shealy
    • 1
  • Robert J. Johnson
    • 2
  • Carl F. Ettlinger
    • 3
  1. 1.Rochester Institute of TechnologyUSA
  2. 2.University of VermontUSA
  3. 3.Vermont Safety ResearchUSA

Personalised recommendations