An actress Natasha Richardson passed away today after a sking accident where she hit her head yet managed to walk away. There's now discussion on whether a helmet could have saved her life. Here's what Time Magazine said.
>>>>>The fact that Richardson was not wearing a helmet may or may not have made a difference in the gravity of her injury. If skiers are moving slowly — say 10 m.p.h. or slower — and they fall on soft snow, they're probably not going to be hurt severely, whether they're wearing a helmet or not. If they're moving faster than 15 or 20 m.p.h. and strike ice, hard-packed snow or another solid object with the head, they're likely to suffer severe injury, and again the presence of a helmet may not make much difference. It's in the middle area — at speeds that are neither very slow nor very fast — that a helmet can play the biggest role. The trick, of course, is that you never know when you're going to be in that gray zone, since even slow beginner skiers can lose control and speed up, and high-speed skiers have to slow down eventually.<<<<<
I find this interesting because it means that a helmet does work well in low and medium speed accidents below 15 or 20 m.p.h. Regardless, I wasn't wearing my helmet all winter long but after this accident, it's back on again.
>>>>Association of Quebec Emergency Room Doctors made the request earlier this year, claiming that 60 per cent of head traumas could have been avoided by wearing a helmet while performing winter sports. Helmets are already mandatory for any skiers and snowboarders that use snow parks or take part in downhill races in the province.<<<