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Next Generation Sports Safety — Air Bags for Skiers

downhill-skier_6188.jpgThe most recent advance in downhill skiing may not be skis, not boots, not aerodynamic clothing … it is airbags. These new airbags for skiers are intended to protect skiers from catastrophic injuries after losing control on a run. Many well-known skiers have suffered severe injuries in recent years and some have had to drop out of racing or jumping at Olympic Games due to their injuries. An airbag system for skiers will be permitted for use at the World Cup and other major races. This is not something that skiers are required to use, but officials have been working on the system with manufacturers and are hoping skiers will give the airbags a try.

The possibility for serious injury is a risk that skiers are simply willing to take. But a rash of accidents, that included high-profile skiers, which included severe limb and brain injuries was the motivator for this new device. The airbag system which can be worn as part of the skier’s racing gear, is intended to inflate when it senses that the athlete is out of control. Although the device has been tested to ensure that it doesn’t slow the racer down or interfere in their performance, it remains to be seen whether racers will adopt the device. One of the more difficult aspects of the development of the device has been ensuring that it deploys at precisely the right moment. Some truly horrific injuries have been suffered by skiers over the past several years. It is hoped that this device will help avoid further injury to life and limb.

An airbag device system has been developed and in use for motorcycle racers for some time. Like skiers, these devices are also worn within the racer’s suit, but also include sensors that are mounted on the bike that enable the airbags to open when appropriate circumstances are presented through a split-second wireless system. These devices have been used for several years now.

The early manufacturers of these motorcycle systems include Dainese D-Air, which has been working on the skiing airbag system as well. The bike systems have a very expansive protective capability for the areas of the body that are most vulnerable and most often injured in motorcycle crashes, whether racing or not. The intense testing that was undertaken by Dainese prior to releasing the safety system for sale is discussed in a lengthy article in Wired, published a couple of years ago. According to Wired, the company put the system through such rigorous testing that it considered literally hundreds of ways that a biker could be harmed while using the airbag system and reengineered it to meet many circumstances.

If you or a loved one has sustained a serious injury in an accident of any kind, you may be entitled to recovery for your injuries as well as medical support. To ensure that your rights are protected, the team at Scholle Law is here to help. Please contact us directly for a complementary evaluation of your accident and injuries. We will evaluate your case at no charge to you. Contacting help early can preserve evidence and make it more likely that you will get all that you are entitled to if a case is filed on your behalf.