There are 10.6 million skiers and snowboarders in the United States. During
the 2009-2010 ski season, they made 59.7 million skier/snowboard visits
to American ski areas and resorts.
Snowboarding has grown in popularity to about 40% of all skier visits.
Skiing and snowboarding are popular, healthy, and generally safe outdoor
activities which attract people of all abilities, ages and backgrounds.
However, with so many skiers on the slopes, and with such a diverse guest
population, skier or skier/snowboarder collisions are inevitable. Sometimes
these accidents are very serious or fatal.
Skiing is not a contact sport. Skiers or snowboarders who believe that
a skier collision is excusable because "accidents happen," are
generally ignorant of the governing ski laws, as well as the skier responsibility
code. The NSAA skier responsibility code is typically printed on every
ski map and posted at every ski resort in the United States. The code
provides ethical guidelines for skiers, including that skiers always stay
in control. Skiers ahead of you have the right of way. Whenever starting
downhill or entering a trail from the side, skiers need to look uphill
and yield. Common sense advice, but many collisions occur because these
three elements of responsible skiing are ignored.