Democratic lawmakers in Northern California are proposing two separate laws with the same goal: make helmets mandatory for skiers and snowboarders while at ski resorts to prevent head and brain injuries.

Our brain injury attorney believe laws like this are sometimes necessary to prevent serious injuries in youth.  Some teenagers may not wear helmets because of how they will be perceived by their peers, but safety should always be a priority over “cool factor.”  Sports-related brain injuries are getting more attention because of the rise in concussions in the NFL, but even celebrities have also suffered major brain injuries.

California lawmakers are pushing for laws that would make wearing helmets mandatory for skiers and snowboarders under the age of 18. (SOURCE: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Back in January of 2009, actress Natasha Richardson’s wrongful death was caused by a serious head injury that was the result of a skiing accident.  The accident brought lawmakers in Quebec to question whether or not helmets should be required.

The new laws for California, meanwhile, would extend to resort operations that are required to report injuries and would also lead to more sign posting and safety planning.

The two proposed California laws are similar in nature.  One law requires skiers and snowboarders under the age of 18 to wear helmets.  Enforcement would be placed on the parents and subject to a $25 fine if their children don’t comply.  The other law has the same requirement for minors, but would force all California ski resorts to report every injury and fatality on the slopes.  Preparation of annual safety plans to be made public would also be required as well as coordinate with other ski resorts to have standardized safety signs and equipment.

In 2005, the British Medical Journal reported that wearing a helmet cut the risk of head injuries in snowboarders and skiers by 29 percent.  Similar laws are being proposed in New York and New Jersey as well to prevent brain injuries in their resort patrons.

Even without the laws, studies have shown that skiers and snowboarders are protecting their heads already.  A survey by the National Ski Areas Association discovered that 48 percent of skiers and snowboarders wore helmets in the 2007-2008 season.

Our brain injury lawyers in San Diego know that if you decide to ski or snowboard, there is a certain level of risk you have to accept when you slide down that mountain at great speed.  If lawmakers can do something to help prevent brain injuries, then perhaps these measures should be taken to keep traumatic brain injuries and wrongful death from happening as a result of a blow to the head.

If you or someone you know has suffered a traumatic brain injury, then click here or call us now at 1-858-551-2090 for a FREE consultation with an experienced San Diego brain injury attorney and find out how we can help you.  You pay nothing until we win your case.


Should helmet laws be passed to enforce wearing helmets while you’re on the slopes?  Do you feel this law is necessary?