Take care out there.

Take care out there.

Following the 15th anniversary of Blue Sky Basin, Vail has named January “Safety Awareness Month”, with safety theme events beginning January 10, 2015, and lasting through the 25th. Scheduled activities will focus on kids safety, helmet safety, and avalanche safety.

Although not too riveting, safety is a crucial consideration for skiers. According to National Ski Areas Association data, 41.5 people die and roughly 50 are critically injured each year in skiing accidents. Sure, this figure is easily dwarfed by the number of annual deaths by car accident, drowning and falls. All the same, the risk is very real and not to be taken lightly. Below are a few suggestions that can keep you safe on the slopes!

Watch out for others. 7.7% of all ski accidents are the consequence of skiers running into each other. Pay attention to the people around you as well as your surroundings.

Don’t think you’re exempt. Experience doesn’t remove you from the risk of serious injury. If anything, being more experienced leads to riskier skiing. 85% of ski accident victims are male and 70% are between their teens and 30s, the same high-risk demographic that is most likely to cause fatal car accidents.

Don’t get ahead of yourself. Don’t ski a slope you aren’t ready to undertake.

Always wear a helmet. Skiing is a face-paced activity and an accident at high speeds could result in permanent and serious brain injury. Skiing without a helmet is just plain stupid.

Practice common courtesy on the slopes. Skiers follow a common code of etiquette. It is of paramount importance to abide by the rules and cooperate with the skiers around you.