Ultrahazardous activities are those activities that are so inherently dangerous that the person or persons performing them are strictly liable for injuries caused by the conduct. In the past, the term “ultrahazardous” applied to mainly industrial activities, such as transporting toxic waste, blasting with explosives, and mining. However, modern usage of the term has expanded to include extreme sports such as skydiving, parachuting, rock climbing, base jumping, motocross, skateboarding, and snowboarding.
The following are some statistics regarding ultrahazardous sports activities. Although ultrahazardous sports have been around for a while, they experienced a surge in popularity during the early 2000s. Most of these statistics involve surveys conducted after the year 2000.
Ultrahazardous Activity Accident Statistics:
- Since the year 2000, extreme sports have been associated with over 4 million injuries
- Ultrahazardous sports activities contribute to over 40,000 head and neck injuries each year
- Roughly 2.5% of head and neck injuries from extreme sports are classifiable as severe, such as involved skull fracture or fractured neck bones
- An 11-year survey conducted from 1999-2000 on head and neck injuries revealed that:
- Skateboarding caused over 129,000 head and neck injuries in an 11-year survey period
- Snowboarding caused over 97,000 head/neck injuries over the same time period
- Skiing was linked to 83,000 cases
- Motocross resulted in 78,000 injuries
- Currently, snowboarding accounts for 25% of all emergency room visits across the U.S., making it the most dangerous extreme sport. The most common snowboarding injuries include fractured wrists, dislocated shoulders, head injuries, and fractured collar bones.
- Base jumping has the highest risk of fatality for any ultra-hazardous activity, greater than all categories combined. Odds of dying are about 1 in every 2,300 jumps. Compare this with skydiving, which is 1 in every 101,000 jumps, or hang-gliding, which is 1 in every 116,000 flights. ?
Liability for organized extreme sports activity injuries is tricky. This is because most participants in organized ultra-hazardous activities are required to sign a liability waiver before participating in the events. However, liability can still sometimes be attributed to severe negligence or other factors.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for an Issue With Ultrahazardous Activity?
Ultrahazardous activity laws can vary by state. Some states and jurisdictions have different rules when it comes to the interaction between strict liability laws and extreme sports. Your personal injury attorney can direct and guide you towards the best legal remedy for your particular situation. If you need to file a lawsuit in court, your attorney can provide you with representation during that process.