Far West Skier's Guide 2013-2014 - (Page 60)
Has Technology Made Skiing Safer?
'In an effort to get more connected with the world globally,
some have ignored being in tune with their present surroundings'
by Richard Lubin, D.C.
"The Snowboarding Chiropractor", Safety Chair, FWSA
Skiing can be an activity of getting away
from technology.. ......or not. Cell phones, MP3
players, GPS, are things that were not around
much 15 or 20 years ago. For the most part, these
technological improvements have made the sport
safer. There are, however, offsetting risks. Let's explore some.
PHONE USE AND TEXTING
These gadgets can be so helpful in locating
emergency help or meeting up with your friends
and family. Smart phones are small computers
with GPS abilities, weather, traffic, and so many
attributes making them a tremendous safety
asset. There is an extraordinary number of safety
studies regarding phone use texting and driving.
There is little doubt that there are increased auto
accidents because these activities take attention
away. For this reason legislation has been enacted
to help control these behaviors.
Usage is greater in the younger population.
Studies show that teenagers with smart phones
average sending about 100 text messages per day.
People DO use phones and even text while they
are skiing or riding. Losing focus or attention can
lead to accidents. One can observe people stopped
in the middle of the trail doing these activities,
oblivious to the traffic approaching. This often
happens just after the exit off of a ski lift. Snowboarders are famous for this.
ience, it can also decrease your ability to hear
anything. "On your left" can be a great warning
when approaching another skier, but only if they
can hear. Occasionally one also needs to hear approaching snowmobiles or snowcats. Listening to
tunes is so popular that it is not unusual to see
all six persons on a 'six pack' lift with headsets
on. What happened to talking to other people?
It is great that helmet use is way up. They
are mandated by some resorts for their employees. Many new helmets have integrated headphones. The design of some helmets can impair
hearing because the ear holes can be blocked.
While helmet use has continued to climb, overall
mortality rate has stayed about the same, an interesting paradox.
Skis, snowboards, and bindings are all more
advanced and better than in the past. Shaped skis
make turning easier because they are curved.
Many studies have shown that there are an increased number of knee (ACL) injuries with
shaped skis. If one loses control and starts to fall,
the ski wants to turn on its own. When the knee
turns out it creates a lot of torsion.
It is one of the main mechanisms for tearing this important ligament.
often makes that video even more popular. Skiers
and snowboarders, often young ones, will try to
emulate these fabulous feats which can often result in injuries offsetting the potentially positive
effect that media can have.
One of the most exciting new developments
in technology are high tech goggles. A few manufacturers are now making ski goggles with
'heads up' displays. If you have heard of Google
glass, it is similar. A small monitor inside the goggles allows you to look at many pieces of information like your speed, elevation, the music that's
playing and even your text messages while you
are skiing. These fabulous devices may make skiing a lot safer by being able to assess your position and even find emergency services. The
liability is that it takes attention. Moving your
eyeball takes about a 1/10th of a second and at
least that long again to process the information.
If you were skiing at 30 miles an hour, not an unreasonable speed, you travel 44 feet in one second. By the time you have a chance to look, you
may have traveled eight or ten feet or more. If
you were reading a text message imagine the
delay. Taking your eyes off your task could be
very hazardous. A lot of serious things can happen to you when your attention is diverted, even
Hearing is one of those senses that make us
more aware of what's happening around us.
While having tunes can enhance the whole exper-
The issues discussed above have not been
studied much with regards to snowsports safety.
We do know that if you are distracted you place
yourself and others at risk. The group that gets
into the most serious accidents skiing and snowboarding is still the same demographic. It is males
from their late teens through their 20s. This is
also a target group of phone/text abusers. In an
effort to get more connected with the world globally, some have ignored being in tune with their
Technology has made skiing and snowboarding safer in so many ways. But, like many
other activities, there are offsetting risk phenomena that can pose safety hazards. L
Technology has made skiing and snowboarding safer in so many ways. But, like
many other activities, there are offsetting risk
phenomena that can pose safety hazards.
We have so much more exposure to media
than 20 or even 10 years ago. YouTube or other
videos can be viewed on phones, TVs, tablets, or
computers easily. On the positive side, one can
see many videos on safety, proper technique, or
other aspects of safety preparedness. What we
usually see is fabulous, daring, and even dangerous board or ski tricks that only highly skilled persons can do safely. If there is a big crash, that
SAFETY IS THINKING FIRST
6O Far West Skier's Guide 2O13 - 2O14 / See the Digital Edition of the Far West Skier's Guide at www.fwsa.org.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Far West Skier's Guide 2013-2014
Far West Skier's Guide 2013-2014
Board of Directors, Trustees
President’s Message: FWSA is on the Move!
FWSA Committee Chairmen and Other Representatives
FWSA Presidents Gather at 2013 Convention
FWSA Council Services Supports Clubs
National Ski Council Federation Brings Councils & Clubs Together Nationwide
FWSA Membership: Through Clubs or Direct
FWSA Direct Member Application Form
Order Form / Far West Skier’s Guide
Ski Season - 2014
FWSA Travel Program
FWRA Board of Directors
FWRA League Race Chairs
Why Do We Race?
FWRA Race Schedule
The FWSA Athletic Scholarship Program Helps Junior Racers
Pursue Your Passions Through the FWSF
Hope on the Slopes Events
Winter Trails Day
FWSA 81st Annual Convention - Mountain Magic Moments - Recap
FWSA 2013 Convention Sponsors
FWSA Industry Award Winners
Convention Door Prize Donors & Milestones
2013 FWSA Councils’ Man & Woman of the Year
Silent Auction & Travel Expo Participants - 2013
2013 FWSA Convention Award Recipients
Snowsports Celebrities Entertain & Inform
Candace Cable, Keynote Speaker
FWSA Safety Person of the Year
FWSA Western Ski Heritage Award
FWSA Snowsports Builder Awards
FWSA Ski Clubs & Councils Continue Generous Charity Support
FWSA 82nd Annual Convention - Volcanic Paradise - Bend, Oregon
FWSA 83rd Annual Convention - Salute to San Diego
Twelve Resorts / One Pass
Public Affairs - 2013 Update
The Road to Sochi
Regional Ski Shows
High Hopes Exist for an Olympic & Far West History Museum in Squaw Valley
Zermatt: Where Legends Meet!
Has Technology Made Skiing Safer?
How Well Do You Know Your Resorts?
A Visit to the 2013- 2014 Digital Edition Only Insert
FWSA Council & Club Information
Far West Skier's Guide 2013-2014