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Winter Sports Collisions Resource

There are over 450 ski resorts in the United States, 30 of which are located in Colorado. Every year, millions of Americans continue to enjoy the thrill of skiing and snowboarding by visiting these ski areas. The number of skier days, a figure equal to one skier or snowboarder per day, still hovers around 50 to 60 million a year; and approximately 20 million of those skier days are spent in Utah and Colorado.

With such an extensive winter sports population, there are bound to be injuries. Though ski areas are not required to report collisions, the National Ski Area Association (NSAA) reports that an accident occurs approximately 2.5 times per every 1000 skier days. The NSAA also reports that on average, 50 fatalities occur due to winter sports accidents every year.

Even though most collisions are not life-threatening, it is important to prepare before going out onto the ranges. Taking safety precautions ensures that winter sports enthusiasts get the chance to keep doing what they love, year in and year out. This resource page will give skiers and snowboarders advice, from keeping warm to preparing oneself for a day at a ski resort.


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Extreme Weather Tips:

Knowing how to prepare for the cold is important for anyone poised to spend a day skiing. And before even considering the sporting aspects, one must learn how to stay warm on those bitingly chilly days.

Colorado Parks & Wildlife – The official website for Colorado Parks and Wildlife gives both visitors and locals an excellent resource regarding the State's natural parks and recreational programs. This webpage goes over, in detail, the materials park visitors may need during the colder months of the year. Weather conditions can vary, and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife organization promotes safety and precaution.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – Visit the official website of HSS to learn more about tackling a day out in the cold with the necessary precautions. The HSS is a cabinet-level department of the US federal government that seeks to protect the health of all Americans. This webpage offers tips to those intending to be active during winter.

Mayo Clinic – This official website for the Mayo Clinic culls research from more than 3,300 medical physicians, scientists, and professionals from around the world to provide visitors top-notch medical advice. This specific webpage addresses the precautions to take during cold weather activities. It also shares tips on how to check for frostbite and hypothermia to ensure safe, cold weather exercise.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention – The CDC promotes safety in all aspects of people's lives, and they are dedicated to the cause of prevention and protection. This webpage lists precautionary tips for those stuck in a brutal winter storm. This resource provides information on how to read signs of frostbite and the protocol for those stranded in a winter storm.


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Precautionary Steps to Winter Sporting Activities in Colorado:

Being prepared for the cold is a great first step for ensuring safety. These additional resources provide informative advice for those specifically skiing, snowboarding, and more.

National Ski Area Association – Learn more about tips to keep in mind before hitting the slopes and what to consider when active on the slopes from the NSAA. These suggestions also explain the various responsibilities of being an active participant in a ski area. Knowing the rules and regulations of specific ski areas will facilitate a pleasurable experience for everyone involved in the adventure.

Colorado Ski and Snowboard Safety – Colorado natives take skier and snowboarder safety seriously to enhance the mountain experience. Learn how to operate the lift, read the signs of the slopes, and the established responsibilities of the skiers in a designated area. Colorado Ski Country believes that responsibility and education go hand in hand with ensuring a safe, pleasant time on the slopes.

WeLove2Ski Safety Alert – Skiing is by and large a safe activity, but without the proper knowledge of the slope and a skier's responsibility, an accident can occur. Learn about specific skiing and snowboarding instructions on this webpage. Welove2ski goes over in detail what to expect during a day of sporting activities, in addition to some skiing statistics. 


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Inherent Dangers and Risks of Skiing:

Colorado § 33-44-103 defines the inherent danger and risks of skiing. These dangers are a natural part and condition of the sport and include: 

  • Dangerous weather conditions;
  • Snow conditions such as ice, hardpack, powder, packed powder, wind pack, corn, crust, slush, cut-up snow, and machine-made snow;
  • Surface or sub-surface conditions such as bare spots, forest growth, rocks, stumps, streambeds, cliffs, extreme terrain, trees or other natural objects;
  • Potential collision with lift towers, signs, posts, fences, hydrants, water pipes, or other man-made structures;
  • Variations in the steepness or the terrain, whether it be natural or due to slope design, in addition to presence jumps, catwalks, roads and more;
  • Potential collision with other skiers.

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Winter Sporting Activity Statistics:

Staying safe should be the priority for any winter sportsman. Even though about three out of every 1,000 skiers and snowboards suffer an injury, there is more that can be done to eradicate bad sporting practices.

Ski resorts are not forced to release injury statistics, but the NSAA, a national trade group that represents and promotes ski areas, collects self-reported injury and accident statistics. These resources will cover some cursory statistics about skiers and those that care for the injured.

SnowSport Safety Foundation – The SnowSport Safety Foundation (SSF) is a public information organization that seeks to encourage and enable safe ski area practices through research and education. Read more about certain statistics regarding skiing injuries, demographics, and the national resort industry.

Denver Health Winter Sports Safety Tips – Denver Health is dedicated to providing the community a full range of medical services. Visit this webpage to learn about the types of injuries that occur in ski areas, some general tips to keep in mind, and what to do if confronted by icy water.


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Colorado Ski Safety Act:

The Colorado Ski Safety Act was established to systematize reasonable safety standards while defining the rights and responsibilities of both skiers and ski area operators. It also arrays the liabilities of both parties.

Skiers usually understand the risks involved with skiing. Like the inherent dangers of skiing points out, there are potential circumstances that can cause an accident. Sometimes it may be entirely out of the skier's control.

If a skier collides with another skier, while failing to maintain correct control or distance, he or she can be liable for the injuries caused. It is every skier's responsibility to exercise safe skiing practices. In addition, it is important for every skier to know their own skills and abilities. Skiers that ski on slopes too difficult for their own skill levels can be incredibly dangerous for everyone around.

Also, ski area operators have the duty to act in a professional and safe way when operating lifts and equipment. Operators must also mark trails, provide warnings, and maintain the efficacy of equipment. The Colorado Ski Safety Act guarantees to hold those at fault responsible for any damages incurred.


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Find an Attorney for Winter Sports Collisions in Denver, Colorado

If you or a loved one have been injured in a winter sports collision or you are interested in preparing yourself for a day skiing or snowboarding, contact our office or visit our website.

The Law Office of Jennifer L. Donaldson is an experienced personal injury law firm with years of experience practicing law in Denver, Colorado. The Law Office of Jennifer L. Donaldson has handled many winter sporting collision cases, each time ensuring clients the representation deserved.

Suffering an injury in a ski area can be disorienting. Preparing yourself before spending a day in a ski area can help eliminate complications, but accidents still happen. 

Call The Law Office of Jennifer L. Donaldson at (303)-458-5000 to learn more about the steps you can legally take to remedy the problem.


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