It is ski season in North Carolina. Numerous resorts throughout the state including Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, Appalachian Ski Mountain, the Cataloochee Ski area, Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain have open trails and open lifts and skiers are taking advantage of the opportunity to hit the hills.
As people enjoy this winter outdoor activity, however, a Greensboro injury lawyer knows that there are some serious dangers associated with skiing. In addition to the chances of falling on the slopes, ski lift injuries are a major safety issue. Ski resorts need to be responsible for maintaining lifts in a safe way, as well as for ensuring that skiers do not encounter unexpected dangers due to problems on open ski trails.
Ski Season Brings Injury Risks
ABC News reports that this year is off to a bad start in terms of skiing safety. During just one week in the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015, there was one death and two injuries caused by chair lift accidents.
The death occurred when a 44-year-old mother fell 25 feet off of a chairlift. The death was ruled accidental, but it is not clear what conditions led to the victim tumbling off the lift.
The incidents causing injuries included a 10-year-old falling almost 20 feet from a chair lift when trying to adjust his snowboard as well as a five-year-old who fell 18 feet after slipping under the safety bar. The five-year-old fell from the chairlift before it reached the first support tower, which was a distance covered in about 18 seconds.
Each of these three incidents occurred despite the fact that the skiers boarded the chair lifts successfully and the restraint bar was located in the proper position.
It is not clear exactly how many people suffer injuries due to chairlift accidents each year. The Post Star reports that data is not widely kept regarding the number of passengers who fall out of chairlifts, although there are some statistics recorded on lift malfunctions.
Most of the injuries occur during loading or unloading, although each of these recent accidents happened after the skiers were already on the lift and riding up the mountain.
Skiers can try to avoid risk of injury by using the restraint bars the way they are intended; asking for assistance as beginners; and not leaning forward or reaching down while on the lift. If something is dropped, like a ski pole or hat, the skier should also wait until disembarking from the chair lift to see if it can be retrieved.
Even when skiers do everything right, however, a problem with the lift itself can have devastating consequences. Ski resorts need to ensure they are doing everything possible to keep their patrons safe from the time they arrive at the resort, whether that is maintaining trails or protecting them from faulty lift conditions.
Contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
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