Wintersports travel insurance at risk when hitting the slopes drunk Go compare with our comparison table

Wintersports travel insurance at risk when hitting the slopes drunk

20 January 2010 / by Rachael Stiles

British winter sports enthusiasts are putting their safety and their travel insurance at risk by hitting the slopes still drunk from the night before, research from MORE TH>N has found.

More than half a million Brits will be skiing or snowboarding down the slopes while having almost twice the drink drive limit of alcohol in their systems, but are doing so unwittingly because they assume they have sobered up.

But, not so say experts, who have calculated that on at least one occasion on their winter holiday, 568,000 Brits will have seven units of alcohol in their bloodstream during their morning skiing or snowboarding session from the previous night's drinking session.

MORE TH>N travel insurance urges skiers to consider their safety and that of others as they hurtle down the slopes at twice the UK driving limit, at average speeds of 20mph for intermediate skiers.

An unaware 74 per cent of those asked do not believe that drinking heavily the night before will affect their performance on the slopes the next morning, when in fact the average skier will not be sober until at least 11am following a heavy night's drinking.

At 9am, with seven units of alcohol in their systems, skiers and boarders will be susceptible to increased reaction times, impaired balance and perception, reduced vision, and loss of critical judgement.

With nearly half of skiers and snowboarders admitting to having a drink every single night of their holiday, there is cause for concern for the sober skiers on the slopes who are at risk from their inebriated slope-mates.

Not only are they jeopardising their safety and that of fellow skiers and snowboarders, but nearly a third wrongly assume that if something happens on the slopes after a night of heavy boozing that their travel insurance will not be affected, MORE TH>N warns.

Winter sports travel insurance providers are unlikely to pay out for claims resulting from being on the slopes whilst still under the influence, regardless of whether or not the customer is aware of their impaired mental state.

Commenting on the research, MORE TH>N spokesperson Pete Markey called the results "extremely concerning," adding that "Brits abroad have a reputation for drinking to excess but throw a high-speed downhill sport into the mix and you have a very nasty combination. Drink driving is severely frowned upon and drink skiing should be too - it can be just as dangerous."

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