New Study Shows When Most Accidents Happen on the Mountain

Brent Thomas | CrashCrash | Industry NewsIndustry News
Ski patrol helps an injured skier down the mountain. Credit: Denver Post

A five-year study out of New Zealand by the company ACC Statistics reveals when most injuries happen on the slopes.

The deadliest time of day is right around the lunch hour between 11 am and Noon. About 30% of all accidents occur during this time. Tiredness and congestion are believed to be the main cause of this. Skiers and riders are worn out from a morning of laps and as they head to the lodge it creates a perfect scenario for accidents.

The second deadliest time of day is between 2 pm and 3 pm when approximately 15% of all accidents happen. Again, this is likely from fatigue as the ski day is wearing on and many may be ending their sessions.

The most at-risk age group for skiers was people aged 45-49, and for snowboarders, it was 25–29-year-olds.

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The most common injuries were related to soft tissue, followed by fractures and dislocations. Concussions and brain injuries were the third most frequent.

Here are some tips for preventing injury:

  • Warm-up and stretch before jumping on the lift
  • Stay visible
  • Slow down in congested areas
  • Ski within your ability level
  • Give way and give space to other riders
  • Follow the rider’s responsibility code (below)
skier responsibility
Rider responsibility. Credit:

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3 thoughts on “New Study Shows When Most Accidents Happen on the Mountain

  1. I remember this one time at ski camp when I was in Jr High School. We took the bus from Seattle to Stevens Pass. Someone had fart spray and let some go in the bus. Within a few minutes dozens of kids were puking due to the foul smell. The smell of puke made more kids puke and eventually the bus driver was overwhelmed by the bad smell and he too puked. By the time we made it to the mountain everyone was covered in vomit and nobody wanted to ski.

  2. I remember a group of us were skiing at Smuggler’s Notch and my father suddenly told us to get off the slopes and stay off. He sensed a snow condition change of some kind. Within a matter of minutes there were 2 broken legs on the people (not in our party) who remained skiing. I am not sure how he knew (10th Mt experience?).(This was in the 1950’s)

  3. I will never forget seeing the aftermath of Ty a skier who crashed hitting a big jump at Northstar. They either took a ski pole or a ski to the mouth and completely split both of their checks. Then when I asked if they were okay, they started talking to me, not completely aware of their injury.

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