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It’s common knowledge by now that seatbelts, motorcycle helmets and the like help keep you safe and more importantly, alive, in the event of a vehicular accident. Even bicycle helmets are recognized as useful safety devices and are required by law to be worn when riding. Why is it then that helmets are not required while hurtling down snowy hills at breakneck speeds? As this man illustrates in this recent news story, you may want to take precautionary measures into your own hands.

Dan Kelly, an “active Wenatchee sportsman and former ski instructor,” “was skiing about 200 yards below the Ridge summit when he “lost an edge,” skidded, fell onto his back and slid downhill, head-first, into a tree. He was wearing a helmet.”

And neither was this the first time. “In June 2008, a fall from his bicycle on Squilchuck Road also rendered him unconscious. A motorist found him dazed and unresponsive lying in the roadway. He fully recovered from the accident. Last year, in a letter to the editor he submitted to The Wenatchee World, Kelly credited his helmet with saving his life.”

If this isn’t proof positive that helmets are a darn good idea no matter what the activity, I don’t know what is. The law may not require the use of helmets in ski areas (yet) but as we know, laws tend to be more reactive than proactive and it may take a few more people becoming seriously injured or dying before we see any changes on that front. Don’t become that statistic! Use common sense- look both ways before crossing streets, always buckle up when driving, and DON’T forget to wear a helmet.

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