Natasha Richardson

Heading off trouble: Are helmets on the slopes a wise precaution or

The 2009/10 season will be a watershed in the use of crash helmets by recreational skiers. Two decades ago it was unusual to see anyone but a racer wearing a helmet; now, figures from the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) suggest that in the US most recreational skiers will be doing so this season. Its survey last season found 48 per cent of skiers and boarders were wearing helmets, up by 5 per cent in a year. How can one be so sure of a further increase in helmet usage next season? Because of the death in March of the actress Natasha Richardson after a fall on the slopes of Tremblant, in the Canadian province of Quebec.