Statistics on Skiing Injuries 2015 Based on Claims Data from SOS International

Crashes are a natural part of your skiing holiday, and, most often, you are able to get up, empty the snow out of your collar and ski on. However, sometimes things end badly, and a crash results in an injury. During the ski season 2015-16, SOS International’s alarm centre, doctors and nurses assisted more than 1,700 injured ski tourists from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.


Types of injury

Traditionally, the knee is the part of the body that is affected the most, when an injury puts a premature end to your skiing holiday. Knee injuries account for almost twice the number of injuries to the lower legs, ankles and feet, which rank second on the list of the most common skiing injuries. The lower part of the legs are affected more than the entire rest of the body. Injuries to knees and downwards account thus for 55% of all skiing injuries with the Nordic tourists

Head injuries have just come off the top five

Head injuries, and in particular concussions, is very present in the minds of the ski tourists, and it has become common to wear a helmet when skiing.

This is positive, as this type of injury may have serious consequences. When studying the injury statistics, however, the head injuries probably take up more space in the head than the head takes up space in the statistics. Head injuries only represent a small share of 5%, and last season, they dropped from a fifth to a sixth place on the list over the most common skiing injuries.

In general, the distribution of the types of injury has been very stable in recent years, and the head injuries’ drop from the fifth to the sixth place is due to minor variations which are too insignificant to be considered as tendencies.

More men need assistance
Once more, the men take the unfortunate win over the women on the number of skiing injuries. The overall gender distribution is constituted of 44% female and 56% male casualties arising from skiing injuries in 2015-16.

The middle-aged are widely represented in the statistics on skiing injuries
Among the injured Nordic ski tourists, the 41- to 50-year old account for the largest share of the injuries, and SOS International assists more injured ski tourists among the 41- to 60-year old than among the young 11- to 30-year old.

Since SOS International is not able to compare the number of injuries with figures on the total number of travellers and their gender and age distribution, we cannot conclude unambiguously that men have a significantly higher risk of becoming injured than women, or that middle-aged and elderly women are more at risk of sustaining injuries than other age groups. 

Want to know more about skiiing injuries?

See SOS International's Medical Director Mikael Fotopoulos being interviewed about skiing injuries for ITIJ TV, the International Travel & Health Insurance Journal.

(The interview with Mikael Fotopoulos begins at 02:05.)

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