Originally Posted by volantaddict
Hmmm....well I spent almost three years out of the last four as a care giver for a man who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) while skiing. I am intimately aware of the effects of such injuries, having taken a painfully long and information packed class on TBIs, and due to my training, I know that the overwhelming majority of them are suffered in car accidents. I wonder how many of the safety conscious skiers wear their helmets as they drive home.
I don't wear a helmet. My head gets hot in just a thin acryllic hat. If I let fear of potential injury rule my life I'd never leave the house. I ski to feel free and unconfined, a helmet wouldn't help that pursuit.
I agree it is a personal choice. Which opens up the debate to the subject of accepting the consequence of the risks you take during a normal day. At some point the numbers catch up to you and you will have an accident. In your car, on a ski slope, in your own home, or just walking down the street. It is going to happen, it is just a matter of time.
By not wearing a helmet you accept that risk, which is your choice. However, as a retired EMS worker I have spent a lot of my life dealing with the victims of TBIs and less serious head injuries. Unlike VA I experienced the initial trauma, not the long road of rehab, so my perspective is a little different.
The only numbers we can know for certain come from the accident reports filled out by the patrollers. I doubt any real numbers exist for the minor head injuries that go unreported because the victim gets up and skis/rides away. It is these crashes that a helmet helps with the most, not the life threatening traumas that happen much less frequently. Add those numbers into your statistics and the picture changes dramatically. So IMO when we quote a statistic about fatalities we miss the point entirely.
To VA and others, let me say emphatically that I fully respect your choice not to wear a helmet while skiing, or mountain biking. Hopefully you will never crash and need one. That being said, I would also like to say IMO your reason for not wearing one is similar to the people who refuse to wear a seat belt because it wrinkles their clothing.