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Popular ski apps increase risk of injury on the slopes

The phrase “There’s an app for that”, is proving to be more and more relevant as the smartphone and app industries continue you grow, but who knew that there would be apps available to help people hoping to hit the slopes this summer?

SkiTracks is by far skiiers favourite app, with the programme using your smartphone’s map and GPS-tracking abilities, it can show you exactly where you’ve skied on a satellite map, whilst also tracking distance, speed, altitude, duration and other ability-level measuring techniques. It’s apps like SkiTracks which are adding a new competitive edge to people’s skiing holidays.

However, doctors in the Alps and other famously busy ski resorts are reporting that there has been an increase in the number of collisions and injuries involving skiiers, with some healthcare professionals questioning whether the popular mobile phone apps that measure a skiiers abilities are to blame.

Whilst measuring our speed and constantly managing to beat our friends, family, and previous speed bests comes with an adrenaline rush, it gives safety patrollers a headache. Fabrice Jolly spoke to the BBC, “Everyone lives in the fast lane these days,” he says as he watches skiers zoom past on the piste. “People come here on holiday from the pressure of the cities and they’re all addicted to technology and telephones and I watch them playing on the lifts with these apps on their phones – and when they get off they just switch off the brain.”

“I mean, hello? We’re not playing a video game – this is real life with real risks. I’m sorry but ski apps may be helpful if you’re lost on a mountain but on the slopes they just help you to make mistakes.”

There are no statistics to suggest that ski apps cause accidents but a group of French Alpine doctors has suggested it may be interested in carrying out some research. Over the last ten years they have noted a hike in the number of “heavily wounded” casualties on the pistes from 3.95% in 2001 to 5.3% last year.

There are more collisions (a huge 33% of head injuries are now caused by skiers crashing into each other) and more accidents occurring at high speeds, and although it’s not proven that ski apps are to blame, it’s certainly extremely likely. Doctors and safety experts are warning holidaymakers that although you should have a good time on your holiday, it’s important to make sure you’re focusing on safety over speed, as it is technique which makes you a good skier, not the time it took you to complete the run.

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