The study evaluated incidences and potential differences of traumatic and nontraumatic fatalities among recreational skiers and snowboarders on Austrian ski slopes within a 10-year analysis. Within this retrospective study, data were collected by the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Data comprised all traumatic and nontraumatic deaths on Austrian ski slopes which occurred between the 2008/09 and 2017/18 winter seasons. Age, sex, nationality, gear used, altitude, slope difficulty, accident cause, primary cause of death and helmet use were collected at the death scene. Incidence of fatalities was calculated based on number of skier days. In total, 369 fatalities, with an average of 36.9 ± 7.9 fatalities per year, were registered. The yearly incidence of traumatic and nontraumatic deaths decreased by 25.8% and 40.1% during the 10-year time period, leading to an evaluated mean incidence of 0.70 deaths per million skier days, with an incidence of 0.36 traumatic deaths and 0.34 nontraumatic deaths per million skier days. Incidences of both traumatic and nontraumatic deaths decreased during the 10-year analysis, representing death as a rare event on Austrian ski slopes. However, adequate prevention measures to reduce potential risk factors to further reduce the mortality risk on ski slopes are needed.
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