How to Prevent Skiing Accidents

It is a common fact that skiing accidents take place with alarming regularity and increasing frequency every year. During the winter months, vacationers make plans to visit their favorite skiing resorts to enjoy the thrill that only this sport can provide. However, skiing requires that one follow specific rules to prevent serious injury.

Skiing is a sport that demands lots of physical fitness and agility. As long as the skier is skiing along a flat tract, the chances of accidents are quite low. But trying to ski down a steep, snow-covered mountain slope is often met with serious consequences.

Therefore, here are some measures you can take to prevent a skiing accident. Unless you are agile enough and have enough experience in skiing, stick to flat, snowy tracts and do not attempt the dare-devil act of skiing down a steep mountain slope. More often than not, the skier gets carried away by the thrill of this sport. At times, they may turn to view some breath-taking scenery and it is at that split second that their attention is diverted from their course.

Another important aspect is acclimatization to the rarefied air. Rarefied air causes a significant decrease in blood oxygen levels, leading to dizziness and loss of focus. The percentage of oxygen becomes lower at levels that are far higher than the sea level. This in turn can create breathing problems. It is recommended that a skier should take some time to get acclimatized to the rarefied oxygen level before attempting to ski. Engage in stretching exercises prior to skiing. This increases the flow of blood through your body, helps to warm up your body, and also sharpens the reflexes.

Another potential danger is skiing while intoxicated – this is a disaster waiting to happen. An intoxicated person does not possess the same sharpness. In a sport where misjudgement by even a fraction of a second can lead to fatal accidents, a skier must be in tip-top shape and have clarity of mind before attempting to ski down a dangerous slope.

Even the best of skiers tend to make mistakes, but they often manage to protect their limbs and lives because they wear protective gear. Of all the protective gear used by skiers, the helmet is the most essential since it protects the head and encapsulates the brain.

If you are planning a skiing trip this winter – whether you are new to this sport or an experienced skier, it is always a good idea to discuss proper ski wear with an instructor at the site to ensure you are conforming to the rules and regulations.

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Winter Outdoor Safety 101

People love to travel to different places during the winter season. Even though these trips are full of fun and adventure, the enjoyment can be spoiled if proper precautions are not taken to protect you from the elements.

The weather during the winter season can change drastically within a few minutes. Heavy snowfalls and blizzards accompanied by gusty winds can occur quickly, exposing you to the dangers of frostbite, hypothermia, exhaustion, and other related conditions.

Before you travel to any destination during the winter season, find out about the weather conditions for the duration of your stay. Equipping yourself with a radio in order to listen to updated weather reports is a good idea as well, especially if you are camping in an isolated area.

Wear appropriate clothing during winter trips. Avoid synthetic clothes – instead, choose cotton and woolen clothing. Keep extra pairs of gloves on hand as well. If you are traveling in a vehicle, ensure that it has a full tank of gas. Ensure you have a shovel in the trunk. Invest in a two-way radio since cell phones might not catch the tower signals in certain remote areas.

You might also wish to bring along suitable sleeping bags and blankets. Bring a high-powered LED flashlight along with a pair of extra batteries. It is recommended that a long, strong nylon rope along with safely harness is added as well. This is especially important if you plan on hiking or climbing.

A first aid kit is essential in case of an accident or slight injury. Take a compass and a map of the region, in case you should get caught in a blizzard. A small oven along with quick igniting fuel pellets, a large thermos capable of storing a day’s drinking water, and high calorie, non-perishable food is also advised.

Whether camping outdoors, hiking, or engaging in any other activity during your winter vacation, having the proper implements and being as prepared as possible can make all the difference.

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Safe Travel Tips on Icy Roads

If you’re going away for the winter holidays this year, there are certain precautions to be taken while driving on icy roads, regardless of whether you are an expert and accomplished driver. Driving on snowy and/or icy roads is only possible when you are in control of your vehicle. But even then, it can take just one simple mis-step to lose control.

Even though the wheels of your vehicle have special tread patterns engraved on them to allow the tire to keep a firm grip on asphalt roads, this is not the case during a winter storm where the underlying ice makes for hazardous driving conditions.

The car, instead of gripping the surface of the snow-covered ice and screeching to a halt, will skid. The slippery surface of the ice-covered street does not allow for friction which causes the car to stop.

When planning to drive on snow-covered streets, it is important to:

  • Change the regular tires to snow tires and/or utilize chains on the tires as an extra safety measure. Also ensure the tires are properly inflated.
  • Drive the car slowly. Maintain an appropriate distance from the car in front of you so that if you do skid, you will be able to stop the car before hitting another.
  • If snow is falling when you are driving, it can restrict your view. This is why it is so important that you change the windshield wipers frequently. Use the heating system in the car, but keep a window open slightly to prevent the windows from fogging up inside.
  • Use extra caution when you are changing lanes or making turns. Signal well in advance of the turn so that the car behind you has adequate time to adjust their speed.
  • If your brakes give out, pump them. However, do not attempt to pump the brakes if your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes.
  • When skidding, turn the wheel towards the direction you are skidding; not against it.
  • If the roads are particularly icy, take a different route. Avoid hilly streets.
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