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Use Your Head Campaign

The Use Your Head Campaign Story

The Use Your Head Campaign Story

2010 - The Campaign Launches

"40% admit they would not be wearing a helmet, despite 75% admitting to suffering an accident"

The year after actress Natasha Richardson dies after a seemingly trivial fall on the slopes, Essential Travel launches its Use Your Head Campaign to promote helmet safety whilst on the piste.

This comes as a result of 40% of Essential Travel's Ski and Snowboard customers admitting that they would not be wearing a helmet, despite 75% admitting to suffering an accident on the slopes that was serious enough to warrant medical assistance.

The campaign is launched with its original partners Ellis Brigham and Headway, The Brain Injury Association.

2011 - The Use Your Head Campaign Takes Effect

18.2% surveyed after the 2010 campaign said that they wore helmets for the first time last season.

"18.2% said that they wore helmets for the first time last season"

After viewing these results, Essential Travel decides to lead from the front by being the first insurance specialist to offer discounts to skiers and snowboarders willing to wear helmets. Neilson holidays joins as a partner, along with Tailwags and Facewest. Essential Travel interviews pro skiers and snowboarders like Jenny Jones to find out their views on helmet use, adding weight to the campaign.

2012 - Essential Travel Makes Helmets Mandatory

"Essential Travel makes it mandatory to wear a helmet on the slopes to remain covered by travel insurance"

In a bold step, Essential Travel makes it mandatory to wear a helmet on the slope to remain covered by travel insurance and introduces a 15% discount for policy holders. This controversial decision was made after 77% of customers surveyed were already wearing a helmet and said they wanted to be rewarded for their safety consciousness. With coverage in all the UK nationals and winter sports magazines it was clear that Essential Travel had hit a nerve with its clear cut conditions.

As the campaign gathers more industry support, new partners Rental Republic, Fosy, and Chelston Direct join the campaign.

2013 - The Use Your Head Campaign Gets Bigger and Bigger

An Official Medical Body Gets Behind Wearing Helmets On The Slopes

This year's campaign includes the first definitive medical conclusion that helmets can save your life. Dr Adil Nadir, the Associate Professor of Surgery at The John Hopkins School of Medicine, and author of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma's report says:

"They protect against serious, even fatal head injuries. There really is a great case to be made for wearing helmets. By increasing awareness and giving people scientific proof, we hope behaviour changes will follow."

New Site

The Use Your Head campaign gets a brand new look with a new site, more expert interviews and case studies. You can get the lowdown from Shred on how helmets are safety tested, find out from Ellis Brigham what you need to know when you are buying a helmet, and read interviews from ski safety and avalanche experts. You can also check out what our ski and snowboarding customers think about the campaign and general helmet use in our helmet Vox Pops.

Bigger and Better Competitions

With more partners lining up to support the campaign, we have more goodies to give away. Check out the competition page for the latest updates.

Investigating Further

"With over 70% of respondents concerned about the behaviour of other people, many called for a total segregation of snowboarders and skiers"

Our annual survey throws up some interesting concerns, with 71% saying that the thing they were most worried about on the ski slopes was "experienced but thoughtless skiers and boarders showing off".

With over 70% of respondents concerned about the behaviour of other people, many called for a total segregation of boarders and skiers. Respondents complained about "people cutting too close", "snowboarders trying inappropriate manoeuvres on the piste", "people snowboarding beyond their capability", "reckless skiers not being aware of others" and "people showing off and thinking they were better than they really are."

This is a good reminder that it's not about you and your own skills on the slopes - you have no control over other people who can cause collisions or dangerously cut you up: yet another reason helmets are a must.

We would love to know what you think about the Use Your Head campaign. Do you wear a helmet? What do you have to say about safety on the slopes. Please share below:

Press Contacts

For press enquiries call Nina Montgomery on 0207 0870 454, or Paula Gardner on 0207 0870 451, or email Paula Gardner.