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Is this crash my fault?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I have no knowledge of ski rules, legality of skiing maneouvres, as I have never passed or even sat a test.

I would say that there looks partial blame on both parties in the video.

You clearly saw him, and there was plenty of piste given his way. You were not encroaching his space while passing.

He seems to have blindly traversed the piste into you, making no avoiding action as if you were invisible.

I would probably apportion blame about 55% his fault and 45% yours based on his lack of spacial awareness, and would require an eyesight test and a check whether he had the music on too loud.

Sorry to go against the flow of opinion here, as the highway ski code is neither written in stone nor is it universally legally accepted.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Couple of comments.

1. Think of it from the other skier's point of view. If he or she had posted the question 'was it my fault' I think that there would be very few people who would say that it was.

2. "I assumed that the other guy...."

Our family motto is 'assumption is the mother of cockup'

But kudos for you for posting it here. I bet that everybody on this forum has hit somebody at some time. I certainly have.
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On the OP, he did not ski into someone, rather the other guy wasn't looking where he was going and skied into him from the side.

I'm not sure if there's a boy scout rule which says "you must look where you're going", but I think that's a fairly important idea which people would do well to consider even if it's not in their books.

The second video illustrates why rules aren't much use to those not of the boy scout persuasion. Perhaps you have a rule against whatever that chap was doing, but it doesn't help because he was clearly out of control. I'm sure there's a rule against that, but everyone has to learn.
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Quote:

I bet that everybody on this forum has hit somebody at some time.


I bet they haven't.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I once got off a chairlift and there was a large - really large - flat area at the top, with just one person standing in the middle of it, admiring the view. I don't know if there was some kind of magnetic force at work, or what, but I skied (albeit gently) straight into him. Shocked Embarassed I've never been so embarrassed in my life.
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Having had my leg broken last year i was amazed that the person who ran into the back of me blamed me then alledged it was a collision and not his fault, ....if you are the uphill skier its your fault..if you have a better view of the other person but fail to take action then its your fault, if you set off without looking its your fault, if you set off after the other person its your fault....i can go on, but most of it is common sense... ive now missed two years skiing because i didnt have eyes in the rear of my helmet..
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Bigtipper wrote:
I have no knowledge of ski rules, legality of skiing maneouvres, as I have never passed or even sat a test....
.... as the highway ski code is neither written in stone nor is it universally legally accepted.


Possibly not universally, but I'm pretty sure that failure to respect the FIS rules of conduct could leave you exposed to criminal and civil liability in the event of an accident. Major ski resorts usually remind skiers of this on their websites, brochures and conditions of use. Every skier and snowboarder must know the FIS rules. Not advisable to just brush them aside.
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I'm reminded of a time my b-in-law totalled some poor guy who was quietly minding his own business slowly traversing the piste. B-in-law was much like OP coming from above doing short radius turns and just held his line. Unlike Callum my B-in-law simply wouldn't accept he was in the wrong even when everyone who watched the footage that pm said he was. No harm done to either party but we're skiing again together this weekend so I'm definitely staying behind him at all times !
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As some people were quoting Rule 3 and telling me I was 100% in the wrong, I decided to read the FIS rules and comments fully.

I have a small bone to pick with people who have thrown Rule 3 out there as if it's an immediate catch-all for wrongdoing. It seems like you need to consider other things, like was the other person in breach of Rule 4, or do the comments to rule 5 apply? I think in some cases a bit more justification than just "sorry, you were the uphill skier, your fault" is warranted.

Based on reading the FIS rules and comments, I just want to throw a couple of other points out there.

Rule 4 states this:
A skier or snowboarder who overtakes another is wholly responsible for completing
that manoeuvre in such a way to cause no difficulty to the skier or snowboarder being
overtaken. This responsibility rests with him until the overtaking manoeuvre has been
completed. This rule applies even when overtaking a stationary skier or snowboarder.


I wasn't stationary, but I'd guess the other skier didn't know that I'd restarted my skiing around 2 seconds before he passed me, otherwise he might have paid more attention. When is the manoeuvre complete? If I'm passing someone and then cutting in towards them, slowing my downhill momentum, it seems that the responsibility is on me to ensure this isn't causing difficulty to the overtaken person.

The comments to rule 5 also say two interesting things:
1. When he has started skiing or snowboarding properly again – even slowly – he has
the benefit of rule 3 as against faster skiers and snowboarders coming from above or
behind.
2. The development of carving skis and snowboards allows their users to carve and turn
upwards on the slopes. Hence they move opposite to the general downhill traffic.
They must, therefore, make sure in time that they can do so without endangering
themselves and others.


Point 1, once I have started moving, the onus is on uphill skier to choose a line that doesn't endanger me. Not a point of passing, but a line (according to Rule 3). Going past someone and then sharply in towards them is not the most safe line. Especially, again, if you haven't checked that you've completed your overtake fully.

Point 2, while it's extreme (in going uphill), it recognises the danger of carving sharply across pistes without checking your line is safe beforehand.

Based on above, perhaps the other skier failed in his duty to ski safely around me. In theory, he really should have seen much more of me than I ever saw of him. He should have seen me start moving again and been aware that he was about to make a potentially dangerous move. However, I could have recognised that there was a more than usual likelihood that he might not have seen me and been more cautious. That's what I'll be doing.

I feel like to say I was 100% in the wrong is a harsh judgement, but regardless I can deal with the situation better in future. As so many people have well pointed out, at the end of the day it's not about being in the right, it's about being safe. That's the reason I posted this question.
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swiftoid wrote:
It looks like neither of you had any idea what was going on around you.


+1

Why no looking around? Situational awareness?
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Quote:

Based on above, perhaps the other skier failed in his duty to ski safely around me.

Passing. And cutting right in front of the skier they just passed...

It is one of the biggest cause of "honest mistakes" I've observed on the slope. Just last week, a teenager passed me very close, then started to veer towards me. There's simply not enough time for me to get out of way! We tangled. Though fortunately we were both ok.

I yelled at him "Watch where the heck you're going!". To which he replied, after a long pause, "I'm sorry".

It was clearly a mistake of inexperience. As soon as he passed me, he totally put me out of his mind, and started moving as if I weren't there. In reality, our speed was very similar so I was merely inches from him. There's no space for me to get out of his way!
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
For this thread to quality for snowHead Gold we need the other geezer to post his own dashcam footage...

...which I think would show him bumbling down the piste making wide turns in order to attempt to control his speed before ending abruptly as he gets take out by someone coming from above and skiing to fast to control their own line or take evasive action.
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If everyone in the world lived precisely within the law/rules, life would probably grind to a stultifying, tediously excruciating halt.
As most people with common sense know, the law is/rules are an ass.

IMO, this collision is what's called in the motor insurance trade 'knock for knock' ie 50/50 responsibility and blame.

Pick the bones out of that. snowHead
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From the video it's not clear what the relative positions are shortly before the crash. The other guy was tanking and taking up the entire piste without bothering to look what might be there. His fault imo. At best 50/50.
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Steilhang wrote:
From the video it's not clear what the relative positions are shortly before the crash. The other guy was tanking and taking up the entire piste without bothering to look what might be there. His fault imo. At best 50/50.


If the relative positions shortly before that crash aren't clear to you how can you determine that the other guy was "tanking"?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
yorkshirelad wrote:
if you are the uphill skier its your fault..


I'm sure you didn't mean it badly, but this, whilst a commonly held belief, is not true, and it's a shitty attitude to take because living in the belief that you are not responsible at all for what goes on uphill of you, it puts you more at risk of being hit from behind.

Everyone on the piste has a responsibility to ski safely. For example, you might have a technical 'right' to ski edge to edge on the piste... but let's be honest, if you're skiing slowly, leaving a 2-foot gap between you and the piste edge is a good idea so that if you do bottle neck a faster skier into that gap, they've got somewhere to go. That's not to say they have right of way. That's not to say they should be there at all, or that being there in the first place isn't a sign they've already done wrong. But being all principle-driven about it will not stop them from hitting you. Being sensible will.

There are also times when accidents will occur where blame is not really attributable to anyone. It's just an accident.

Whilst I agree that the OP was in the wrong - and I've posted about that already - I maintain that everyone needs to ski carefully with an awareness of what's in front of them and beside them... but also with an empathy to what might be happening behind them. Paying it no regard on the basis that the uphill skier ought to take full responsibility will not prevent the collision.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 27-02-18 0:04; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Bodeswell wrote:
Bigtipper wrote:
I have no knowledge of ski rules, legality of skiing maneouvres, as I have never passed or even sat a test....
.... as the highway ski code is neither written in stone nor is it universally legally accepted.


Possibly not universally, but I'm pretty sure that failure to respect the FIS rules of conduct could leave you exposed to criminal and civil liability in the event of an accident. Major ski resorts usually remind skiers of this on their websites, brochures and conditions of use. Every skier and snowboarder must know the FIS rules. Not advisable to just brush them aside.


There is a rule of etiquette and code which skiers accept and try to abide. There is no written code on which you have to pass a test on, demonstrating understanding. In law, ignorance is often quoted as no excuse. I guess when you are skiing ignorantly, then in law there is no excuse.

As to how you would enforce such a law, is one which is pretty much only possible in cases of extreme ignorance and abuse. In the case posted, as in the majority of ski accidents involving more than one person, the liability usually is fairly equally shared. As this is the case, as in motoring accidents in the UK, the knock for knock insurance arrangements do not generally get enforced and each person claims on their own insurance and accepts that skiing has a risk. That risk includes ignorant skiers, or snowboarders, and even inexperienced persons who ski or snowboard and need to be given a wider berth.

In this case neither skier looked particularly inexperienced. Both looked slightly at fault, but to say one was more to blame than the other is a marginal decision. Are we really going to go down the route of CCTV cameras on the piste which monitor any accidents caused by overcrowded pistes? If so, will badly piste bashed pistes become a reason to sue the resort?

No, we do not live in USA!

Having a camera on your head which shows your point of view, is not convincing. Like when the TMO is called in rugby matches, many different angles need to be seen and even then sometimes the decision is inconclusive.

rolling eyes
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I would go the 50/50 option also. TBH the fact you've managed to have a clash with just the two of you on an empty piste takes some fathoming. Surely you both would have heard or seen in your peripherally vision the other skier? I quite often have this happen and I immediately take action. Most of the time I am wearing sunnies. If I am wearing goggles I do find the peripheral vision slightly diminished. I like to think I compensate.

I am not really sure there is an uphill skier here. A few seconds into the video you are a long way apart width wise and it doesn't seem like one of you his markedly in front of the other. So I see that as a red herring.

My late father used to say "assume everyone on the road is an idiot - including yourself" and that translates well to the ski slope. People aren't idiots in general or deliberately of course. The point is they do idiotic thinks (through tiredness, lack of concentration, etc, etc.)
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At 0:15 on the slomo, the other skier os has already passed the stationary op and as far as he is concerned, the op is still stood still, as the os re enters the frame at 0:25, he is, as you would expect looking straight forward as he makes his traverse which is hardly a hard carving traverse, with his left pole raised, ready fo a pole plant to make his left turn, the op then comes in from above, skis straight in front of the os, wiping him out. At 0:27 the os can be seen looking straight forward, planning where he is going to turn.
There is no video evidence of the type of turns the os was doing before the crash, had he been doing a series of short radius turns then put a sudden big traverse without a glance uphill, this would be mitigating circumstances for the op but still the onus would be on the op to take evasive action.
Like I said earlier, it's very similar to a crash I had where the downhill skier put a sudden, unexpected turn in and that crash was 100% my fault.
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OK so grenade being thrown here.

Whilst I agree with comments about the OP being responsible in some way being the uphill skier (marginally) and only just setting off etc, what about the othe guy claiming some responsibility.

A few of you will have skied with me, and I don't pootle around, but one things for sure I like lane discipline.

To me that is a wide piste, you can easily splot it into 2/3 strips. The OP clearly kept the same distance from the edge of the piste, where as the other person cut across sharply. It's about time people learnt that whilst the fis code states the down hill skier has right of way, that the downhill skier should hold responsibility for their own actions that include:

A) skiing in a predictable manor
B) look up the sodding hill before changing direction or stopping.

Not a difficult concept.

In my view this is 50/50 and if anything the other person had the whole sodding piste to play on and chose to turn sharply into the path of the OP - look over your shoulder, or stay more in the foreline / stay in your 'lane'
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tangowaggon wrote:
had he been doing a series of short radius turns then put a sudden big traverse without a glance uphill, this would be mitigating circumstances for the op but still the onus would be on the op to take evasive action.
Like I said earlier, it's very similar to a crash I had where the downhill skier put a sudden, unexpected turn in and that crash was 100% my fault.


Totally agree, as much as you want to get into a rhythm behind somebody else and pass at a good moment, you have to be ready for them to either (a) do the exact turn you expected them to do; (b) turn wide, traverse, etc which you didn't expect them to; or indeed (c) pull a quick stop (maybe they've seen something in the piste?), spin 180 and start skiing switch, or just perform a total yard sale for reasons you didn't predict. In any case if you're following, the onus is on you to register this person's presence, and ski in a manner where they're able to do whatever, without affecting you.
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@Bigtipper, don't really disagree with what you say. I'm just pointing out that it is inadvisable to ignore FIS rules as in the event of a dispute they could be invoked. Although you don't need to pass an exam it is good practice to know and apply them. Obviously we all have a different PoV but the FIS rules are pretty clear in that you should account for all sorts of stupidity from downhill skiers. And the OP was clearly uphill. Luckily no damage was done and all good.
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@dp, says the man who loves to gun it past everyone 😂😂😂😂
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PaulC1984 wrote:
@dp, says the man who loves to gun it past everyone 😂😂😂😂


The kettle calleth the pan black Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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But I'd rather be hit by Paul than dp Shocked Shocked
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agw wrote:
Steilhang wrote:
From the video it's not clear what the relative positions are shortly before the crash. The other guy was tanking and taking up the entire piste without bothering to look what might be there. His fault imo. At best 50/50.


If the relative positions shortly before that crash aren't clear to you how can you determine that the other guy was "tanking"?
Because he was tanking when he crossed the path of the OP.
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Steilhang wrote:
agw wrote:
Steilhang wrote:
From the video it's not clear what the relative positions are shortly before the crash. The other guy was tanking and taking up the entire piste without bothering to look what might be there. His fault imo. At best 50/50.


If the relative positions shortly before that crash aren't clear to you how can you determine that the other guy was "tanking"?
Because he was tanking when he crossed the path of the OP.

Just had another look at the vid, I wouldn't say the os was tanking it at all
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Putting blame aside, this video is a classic lesson in the importance of peripheral vision and hearing and the need for spatial awareness. I think I'll be looking for another new pair of goggles.
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Just because traffic lights are green, it doesn't mean you should drive across a junction without looking..................
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tangowaggon wrote:
PaulC1984 wrote:
@dp, says the man who loves to gun it past everyone 😂😂😂😂


The kettle calleth the pan black Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin


Says ginger. I stand off the side of the piste and you still have your thermal imaging firmly fixed on me Happy
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ecureuil wrote:
Blackblade wrote:
... I think it’s clearly a 50/50 in terms of blame according to the rules. At the time the collision happened you were clearly parallel as neither of you was the downhill skier and the collision was a side to side impact.

As such, provided you gave him space, which you did, whilst he was the downhill skier once you are parallel the onus is then on both of you to be aware of surroundings and give each other space.....

This can't be right. It is reasonable to expect skiers to check a 180 degree downhill arc of vision; but they don't have to check uphill, although more prudent skiers may do so. The other skier was initially downhill, so may not even have known the OP was approaching. The OP knows that the downhill skier is there, so has to be 100% responsible for avoiding a collision.


If you are parallel to another skier then 180 degrees includes any skier parallel to you on the piste. If, for example, you catch up another skier but then slow up so that you are both progressing in parallel down the slope then you both have equal right to space and the onus is on both skiers to avoid a collision.

The fact that someone was once the uphill, overtaking skier does not continue to pertain once they are parallel or ahead of the other skier. So, no, there is no requirement to check uphill (unless starting) but there is a duty to scan parallel and below. The skier who hit the OP clearly, at the last part of the collision, had become the uphill skier - and thus was not a blameless party.
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@Blackblade, yep. That's pretty much the way I see it as well. At best they were skiing parallel for some time so blame goes to both. Shit happens.
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Hurtle wrote:
@Legend., +1


+2
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It's probably worth mentioning too that sniwboarders have a blind side so are less likely to see slightly uphill traffic on one side.

I think the other thing with this video.is that, although perfectly entitles to make a very sharp turn, the other ski ski does it quite unexpectedly. Quite often, we judge what people will do by what they've.beeen doing. If you're doing lots of sweeping or sharp turns, people above you will guess what you're about. If you've been going pretty straight and the. Make a very hard right across a piste, you're putting yourself at a higher risk of an accident.
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Steilhang wrote:
@Blackblade, yep. That's pretty much the way I see it as well. At best they were skiing parallel for some time so blame goes to both. Shit happens.

As I see it, the os was clearly well ahead, not parallel, the op is going virtually straight down the slope when the os appears in front of him after doing a traverse.
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@tangowaggon, maybe, maybe not. Anyway, the way I see it taking up the whole piste without looking out for what is happening around is not a good idea. I'll leave it at that.
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It is difficult to tell from the clip but if the other skier was inexperienced then he might have been concentrating on his next turn and where the pole plant was going to go, rather than on who was coming down from above. He doesn't appear to be going very fast and his trajectory at the time of the glance appears to be towards your line, so not a sharp turn into your line.
It's easy to say that the other skier should be more aware but by the time the OP comes into his field of vision I suspect he had little time to change course, probably none at all if he was a relative newby. Most of us are commenting from a position of experience and we have little or no knowledge of the level of experience of either of the skiers in the clip.
An unfortunate accident I'd say 60/40 the fault of the OP but a good lesson in the need to stay aware of what's happening around you and don't make assumptions about what the other people on hill will do!
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Quote:

There are also times when accidents will occur where blame is not really attributable to anyone. It's just an accident.


Don't agree.
Clearly you can have incidents when several people made contributory errors and nobody was grossly at fault.
But beyond that, the whole principle of reducing "accidents" on the roads, at work, and yes when involved in sport involves going back to the contributory factors and trying to eliminate them. In skiing the vast majority of "it's just an accident" incidents ultimately result from people not leaving enough margin for error given the speed they were travelling at.
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This is classic - and the sort of accident that happens often.

The cause (and justification for most of those who think the OP was not at fault), is some weird perceived "right" to ski your space on the slope and the speed you want to ski at. I see this all the time. No one has the right to any part of the slope or any particular speed, everyone has the obligation to match speed and line to conditions, ability and other slope users. The OP did not do this and so is at fault.

I wonder how many of those who say it was just an accident (50/50 fault) have wiped someone out at some point. I wonder how many close misses they have had also. I wonder how many ski faster than their ability (by default if you can't avoid crashing into someone, you are skiing faster than your ability). I wonder how many think they are carving when they are in fact being driven by their skis rather than able to actively pilot them.

It is simply not the case that it happens to all of us. 20 years skiing and I have never crashed into anyone. And not because I am not able to or choose not to ski considerably faster than the majority. Simply because I accept my responsibility to avoid those below me on the slope, regardless. I suspect there are many others here for whom this is true.

If you can't change your turn shape and speed at will - slow down. If you can't change your trajectory by either sliding out of a carve or adjusting the pressure on the ski to change the turn shape, don't carve when there are others on the slope (and take some more lessons). If you can't accept that you do not have the "right" to any particular space on the slope, or corridor, or speed, or turn shape - you should not be skiing.

A little humility, consideration for others, and common sense would prevent the majority of collisions in my view
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I have watched this video several times and sorry but to me it is 100% clear that the OP is the uphill overtaking skier and at fault. The fact that the other skier also seems to be skiing unpredictably doesn't change that. It's pretty terrifying that so many here are concluding it is a 50/50 situation.
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