It is a form of exercise, a popular sport and a way of life. It is also a common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Skateboarding has long been a favorite pastime for individuals young and old, but the risks that come with the activity can be devastating. And while helmet use is encouraged in all action sports, it is not always a practiced safety method. New York, like many other states, sees an alarming number of skateboarding accidents each year. Is there a better way to broadcast the importance of skateboarding safety, or will the stubbornness of risk takers allow the TBI trend to continue?
It comes as no surprise that the unpredictable and thrilling sport of skateboarding can result in an injury or two. The New York Times places the blame of skating accidents on thrill seeking, which is not exclusive to a particular age group. Instead, skaters of all ages are often inspired by their extreme sport idols. In a dangerous mix of hubris and overestimated skill, countless skateboarders face concussions, skull fractures and other serious injuries each year. The Times reflects on a study that showed the bleak numbers: from 2000 to 2011, over four million extreme sport injuries occurred. That statistic does not appear to be on the decline anytime soon, either; more than 129,000 reports from that 12-year study involved head and neck injuries.
Just when skateboarding seems to be the most dangerous choice in physical activity, Live Science magazine reported that longboarding can come with even more tragic injuries. Using a study in Utah that tracked the injuries of 824 longboarders and skateboarders from 2006 and 2011, Live Science explained that more than half of these young skaters suffered injuries from longboarding. In addition, longboarders were at a greater risk of traumatic brain injuries. One form of skateboarding may come with higher risks than the other, but both appear to lie at the root of millions of TBI injuries across the country.