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December 5th 2018

Accidents & Illness Abroad

Brits remain carefree about skiing drunk on winter sports breaks despite known dangers

Paul McClorry

Paul McClorry

Head of Travel Litigation

Brits remain carefree about skiing drunk on winter sports breaks despite known dangers

After a day on the slopes we know there’s little more appealing than heading to the après ski for some local draft beers, cocktails and dancing to live music.

After a day on the slopes we know there’s little more appealing than heading to the après ski for some local draft beers, cocktails and dancing to live music.

With your feet still aching and cheeks tingling, heading to these fun-filled social events and partying until late has become the way to finish your day in the mountains on a high.

However, despite still nursing a hangover the following morning, how many head back out onto the slopes?

Latest research suggests skiing drunk is a risk a large majority of Brits are still happy to take.

Such a decision see them unwittingly invalidating their travel insurance, leaving them not only at risk of injury, but also medical bills running to thousands of pounds should they be involved in a serious skiing accident

Poll reveals almost 1 in 5 Brits believe skiing after 4 or 5 drinks acceptable

According to a YouGov poll recently commissioned by travel insurance specialist Aquarium Software, a staggering number of British holidaymakers who have been or are planning on going on a winter sports holiday do not know that skiing drunk can invalidate their travel insurance.

  • 30 per cent had no idea what level of alcohol consumption could invalidate cover
  • 18 per cent felt four or five drinks would be acceptable
  • 15 per cent thought one drink could invalidate their cover
  • 10 per cent thought they could drink any amount without invalidating cover
  • A separate poll found skiers drink an average of six pints a night après ski

The results of this survey reveal the shocking insight into consumer attitudes towards travel insurance and winter sports.

It indicates that in a society which is rightly appalled by drink driving, people are still not appreciating that skiing drunk can have the same, life-changing impact when accidents happen.

Putting yourself, families and children at risk

Skiing and snowboarding may be fun, but they are two of the most dangerous winter sports you can take part in, so we have provided our top tips for staying safe on the slopes.

If you go on the slopes after drinking significant amounts of alcohol, you’re not just putting yourself at risk of harm, but  also endangering the well-being of others, including families and children.

Skiers and snowboarders can easily reach speeds of 20mph and upwards. This combination of speed and inexperience means getting injured is a common occurrence that can happen to anyone at any time.

If your judgement is impaired because of excess alcohol, you could be found personally liable for your actions in the event of causing a serious injury. In the worst-case scenario, fatalities can occur.

Although most winter travel insurance policies don’t forbid the consumption of alcohol outright, it is not uncommon for insurers to refuse to pay out medical costs for a person involved in an accident when skiing drunk or under the influence of drugs.

You wouldn’t run the risk of driving a car whilst drunk, so why is it seen as acceptable to have a few drinks and then reach similar speeds on skis?

Before you put yourself and other skiers at risk, think about the consequences and consider taking the ski lift or alternative route down.

Have you been caught up in a skiing accident that was not your fault?

If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a skiing, snowboarding or winter sports accident that was caused by the negligent actions of another skier, you may be able to claim compensation for any pain and suffering you experienced.

The laws change depending on the country where the incident happened, and it’s important to have an experienced lawyer on your side, so feel free to get in touch for free, expert advice.

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