How to avoid sledging accidents

If you love sledging sharing this passion with your children, you’re surely a little worried because in recent years you’ve been hearing more and more about sledging accidents. Rest assured, these accidents often occur because the sledgers involved were careless. Here, we’ll take a look at what you need to know to be safe when sledging.

How to avoid sledging accidents

FOLLOW THESE BASIC RULES

The most basic rule, which is still not always the most respected rule at the resort is: stay in areas reserved for sledging. Otherwise,, you’ll be endangering pedestrians walking along the snow front (where the sledge runs are often located) and skiers walking between two runs.

1. Pay attention to the age range recommended for the track

Resorts have developed a range of sledge runs for all levels. If you’re on a dedicated sledging run, first check the age range of users for which it was created. You can't leave your baby on a run for 6-12-year-olds, for example. And letting a teenager go down a track for the little ones will be dangerous (and probably not very fun).

How to avoid sledging accidents
How to avoid sledging accidents

2. Pay attention to traffic rules on the sledging runs

In sledging, traffic on the slopes is similar to that of skiing: you are responsible for the person below you on the track. So it's up to you to be careful because the person below is looking ahead and can't see you.

3. Watch your speed and/or your child's speed

For all users of a sledging run to be safe, everyone needs to have a good idea of how fast to go. If you or your child is new to sledging, don't start out on a steep hill just yet. Train first on a run with a moderate gradient. Once you have mastered your sledge, you can increase the difficulty. But keep at a speed that allows you to brake or avoid obstacles easily. The idea is that no matter what happens, just like in a car, you are responsible for your vehicle and for controlling it.

How to avoid sledging accidents
How to avoid sledging accidents

4. The weather is also important, especially for visibility

As with skiing, the weather in sledging is an important factor to consider. If you’re sledging on a “white day”, your visibility will be reduced so you’ll need to pay close attention to your speed and to other sledgers as you may only see them when you are very close.

Have a suitable sledge

The equipment you use for sledging is also important for your own safety and to ensure that you remain in control of your sledge.

How to avoid sledging accidents

1. The maximum weight supported by the sledge

This is important for two reasons: if you load the sledge too much, it may break at the slightest impact or jump over a bump. And if the braking system won’t be effective enough when needed. You’ll also gain too much speed and won’t be able to steer your sledge effectively.

How to avoid sledging accidents

2. THE GENERAL CONDITION OF THE SLEDGE

Before you hit the runs, always check how your sledge is doing. If it has been sitting in the garage all summer, check that the brakes still work and that it is not cracked or broken. And if so, fix it (see our repair parts) before you start!

How to avoid sledging accidents

3. How you use your sledge

This is important because an unsuitable sledge on a track will be uncomfortable for you and dangerous for everyone else. If you take your shovel sledge on a multi-kilometre descent (yes, runs sometimes do go on for kilometres!), you won't be very comfortable. On the other hand, if you use a sports sledge on a short family run, you’ll probably pick up too much speed and risk running into the poles. Or if you start on your child's sledge, which has a maximum load of 50 kg when you are at least 10 kg heavier, you will start very quickly, but will probably have difficulty stopping and risk breaking the sledge.

How to avoid sledging accidents

Did you know: Need to brake efficiently?

The brakes on your sledge are there to help you brake in an emergency. If this isn’t enough, take your feet out of the sledge and stick them in the snow (this is easier if you have good snow shoes). This will stop the sledge quickly. Beware of the whiplash effect, but your sledge will be stopped

How to avoid sledging accidents

Being well prepared is the best way to avoid accidents and injuries when sledging. Being aware of other sledgers maximises your chances of avoiding a collision. If you follow these tips, you should have nothing but good memories of your sledging trip!
If you have any other tips to share, please do so in the comments.

How to avoid sledging accidents

PAULINE

Passionate about winter sports