Study in Australia hopes to improve safety in snow sports

Posted By: The Ski Channel on June 9, 2010 2:03 pm

(Image: Ooh it Looks Steep, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from maticulous’s photostream)

New South Wales, Australia- Students in the New South Wales high country will be participating in an interesting study this ski season.

Researchers at the University of Canberra will be equipping young skiers and snowboarders with electronic helmets, as well as GPS devices.

This equipment will measure the young riders’ speeds while they take on the slopes. If the children crash, the gear will record where they were going, and how fast they were traveling. With the results, the goal of the experiment is to improve the safety of children on the ski slopes.

Dr. Tracy Dickson, researcher at Canberra University, explained how the data collected will be used to measure the characteristics of head injuries, as well as aid in developing ways to making snow sports safer activities.

As Dickson explained, “We’re just trying to understand the characteristics that help develop snow sport safety strategies to help make better choices about how they’re skiing and boarding, so they can help protect themselves from injury.”

Dr. Dickson stated that students from Jindabyne schools, as well as children in outdoor educational programs, will also be participating in the study.

Tracey also explained how for this study to be most impactful, it is important for the kids to carry out their normal behaviors on the slopes. “We just want them to do normal things during the day, so they might wear the equipment for about three or four hours.”

Fortunately for the kids, conducting this scientific study will require no more than some simple cooperation, and a day dedicated to skiing powder-covered slopes with fellow friends and classmates.