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Ski helmet use on the rise, say Abta members

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More skiers and snowboarders are taking heed of safety advice and wearing helmets when hitting the slopes, Abta research out today (Tuesday) shows.


Members of the association are reporting that the increase in numbers wearing a helmet is being driven by younger people.


This is also the group most likely to take ski holidays, with more than 1 in 10 (11%) of 16-24s taking a winter sports break this winter.


This suggests that people who grow up wearing a helmet will continue to do so, especially in countries such as Austria and Italy where it is a legal requirement for children.


The February school half-term is traditionally one of the busiest ski weeks in European resorts with an estimated one million Britons going skiing this season.


Abta members are seeing increased interest from people in safety equipment, both to hire and to purchase.


The US National Ski Areas Association reported last year that 70% of all skiers and snowboarders wore a helmet and similar numbers have been reported in Europe – up to 76% of skiers now wear a helmet in Switzerland.


The high profile story of former F1 driver Michael Schumacher’s accident on the slopes has resulted in heightened interest in ski safety and Abta expects that the trend will surpass last season’s peak.


But Abta’s study shows that younger winter sports holidaymakers are still the least likely to take out adequate insurance with almost half (47%) of under 35s going without purchasing specific winter sports insurance, compared to over a third (36%) of Britons overall.


The association’s head of communications Victoria Bacon said: “Having the right equipment is an essential part of any winter sports holiday and Abta urges all skiers and snowboarders to wear a helmet.


“We want people to be able to make the most of their time on the slopes, and knowing you have the right kind of equipment is one less thing to worry about.”


She added: “It is still alarming to see the numbers travelling without adequate insurance however.


“Along with arranging the right safety equipment, purchasing the right level of travel insurance, and checking that annual policies are extended to cover action sports like skiing, should be a top priority.”

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