Dummy test sends a warning to skiers

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Crash-test dummies have taken a beating in a series of simulated collisions with a tree – all paid for by Direct Line.

The insurer wanted to find out how much difference wearing a ski helmet can make if you're involved in a major impact on the slopes.

The results are frightening. They revealed that skiers wearing helmets experience at least two-thirds less G-force than skiers without helmets. That means a greatly reduced risk of suffering a serious head injury such as a brain contusion.

Tom Bishop, travel insurance chief at Direct Line said: "We do not enforce the use of helmets when taking part in winter sports, but the safety of our customers on the slopes is paramount to us. So we encourage the use of approved helmets, especially in light of this research."

The insurer receives around 3,000 winter sports claims per year, most of which are medical, with three or four deaths.

Said Mr Bishop: "Winter sports injuries can be very costly, and... a skier could face thousands of pounds in charges for mountain rescue, ambulances, new flights and additional accommodation. This is why taking out appropriate travel insurance is so crucial."