Since the winter of 1950-1951, 1084 individuals perished in snow avalanches in the United States. In this study, we analyze the ages of those killed (n=900) by applying non-parametric methods to annual median ages and for age groups and primary activity groups. Change point detection results suggest a significant change in 1990 in the median age of avalanche fatalities. Significant positive trends exist for both the 1950 to 2018 and 1990 to 2018 median age of victims. The median age of victims from 1950 to 1989 is 27 and 33 from 1990 to 2018. Since 1990, the 30-39 and 40-49 age groups are the only age category to exhibit a positive trend in the number of fatalities. There is no significant difference in median ages between snowmobilers and other categories. These results can be used to enhance avalanche education and forecasting efforts in the United States.
|Title||Research Note: How old are the people who die in avalanches? A look into the ages of avalanche victims in the United States (1950-2018)|
|Authors||Erich Peitzsch, Sara Boilen, Karl W. Birkeland, Spencer Logan|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center|