The effect of helmet use on injury severity and crash circumstances in skiers and snowboarders

Accid Anal Prev. 2005 Jan;37(1):103-8. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2004.04.003.


The aim of this study was to examine the effect of helmet use on non-head-neck injury severity and crash circumstances in skiers and snowboarders. We used a matched case-control study over the November 2001 to April 2002 winter season. 3295 of 4667 injured skiers and snowboarders reporting to the ski patrol at 19 areas in Quebec with non-head, non-neck injuries agreed to participate. Cases included those evacuated by ambulance, admitted to hospital, with restriction of normal daily activities (NDAs) >6 days, with non-helmet equipment damage, fast self-reported speed, participating on a more difficult run than usual, and jumping-related injury. Controls were injured participants without severe injuries or high-energy crash circumstances and were matched to cases on ski area, activity, day, age, and sex. Conditional logistic regression was used to relate each outcome to helmet use. There was no evidence that helmet use increased the risk of severe injury or high-energy crash circumstances. The results suggest that helmet use in skiing and snowboarding is not associated with riskier activities that lead to non-head-neck injuries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Head Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Odds Ratio
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Skiing / injuries*
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*