40 Percent Of Skiers To Skip Helmets This Season, Reveals Essential Travel

Travel insurance specialist partners with Ellis Brigham and Headway to launch ski safety campaign, following customer poll

Research by travel insurance specialist, EssentialTravel.co.uk has revealed that almost 40 per cent1 of its ski and snowboard customers will not be wearing a helmet this season. This is despite a staggering 75 per cent of them admitting to suffering an accident on the slopes in the past that was serious enough to require medical assistance.

In response to the customer poll, EssentialTravel.co.uk has teamed up with mountain sports retailer, Ellis Brigham and charity, Headway - the brain injury association, to launch a ski safety campaign to encourage skiers and snowboarders to wear a helmet this season.

As part of the "Use Your Head" campaign, which launches on 1 December 2010, EssentialTravel.co.uk is offering a 10 per cent discount on helmets in store at Ellis Brigham to every customer who buys winter sports cover this season.2 In addition, the leading travel essentials provider will donate £1 to Headway for every winter sports policy sold.

'On first glimpsing the poll results, we were relieved to see that the majority (62 per cent) of skiers and snowboarders do plan to wear a helmet this season but an alarmingly high percentage of people are still intent on not wearing one,"says Stuart Bensusan, EssentialTravel.co.uk.

"What's more, when we probed our customers further we found that only 25 per cent of the customers who had sustained serious injuries whilst skiing or snowboarding in the past, were wearing helmets at the time.4 Of those who were wearing a helmet when they had their accident, 67 per cent felt that it saved them from a more serious injury."

"Together with Ellis Brigham and Headway we're urging skiers to recognise the importance of wearing a helmet for protection and to start placing the same value on helmets for winter sports as they would for cycling."

Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway, says: "Encouraging skiers and boarders to wear helmets is hugely important to us. There is a general misconception that only a major impact will lead to death or disability from a head injury. However, the truth of the matter is that even minor bangs to the head can have serious consequences."

"With this in mind, we urge all skiers and snowboarders to use their heads this season and wear helmets - they might just save your life."

Steve Wells, equipment buyer at Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports says: "Campaigns like this one are definitely helping to drive awareness of the importance of wearing a helmet when skiing or snowboarding. We believe that such campaigns, coupled with the fact that there were several high profile accidents last season, have lead to the 10 per cent increase in sales of helmets that we have seen so far this year."

"Helmets are no longer big, heavy uncomfortable lumps, squeezing your head and restricting your movement. They're now light weight, well fitted and well sized. Helmets aren't just for athletes, experts and professional skiers any more. They are a normal item to use, accepted by all sections of the skiing and snowboarding community and viewed as an essential piece of kit."

EssentialTravel.co.uk has launched a dedicated Use Your Head micro-site, which features full details of the Ellis Brigham discount and Headway charity donation as well as snow injury facts and testimonies from customers who've been injured on the slopes.

About Essential Travel

Established in 2001, Essential Travel is one of the UK's leading online travel essentials companies. Since 2002, we've protected over 5 million holidaymakers with our fully-comprehensive, competitively-priced travel insurance, as well as providing priority access to the most sought after car parks, hotels and lounges at all major airports across the UK.

Essential Travel is now part of Holiday Extras.