Online test launched for hikers to minimise accident risk

Only half of the survey respondents knew of alternative routes in case the trail proved too difficult or the weather changed. Keystone / Anthony Anex

The online self-assessment test will enable hikers to find out if they are prepared for mountain hiking or whether they should stick to easier trails.

This content was published on July 5, 2020 - 12:11

The Swiss Council for Accident Prevention, in partnership with Swiss Hiking, launched the test External link(in French, German and Italian) following a survey which revealed that hikers are often not sufficiently prepared for their mountain excursions and often overestimate their abilities.

Of the 4,200 hikers surveyed, 26% said they were only moderately prepared or not at all prepared; 18% were not particularly sure of their footing, even though they hiked a mountain trail that may have sheer drops (marked white-red-white).

In terms of preparation, leisure walkers are also negligent. Although nearly nine out of ten people had studied the weather in advance, only 71% researched the time it would take to cover the chosen route, and 61% about its difficulty. Furthermore, only half of the respondents knew of alternative routes in case the route proved too difficult or the weather changed.

Hiking in the mountains is one of the most popular sports in Switzerland: 57% of the population uses hiking trails every year. However, every year there are 40 fatal accidents and 4,000 people are seriously injured, the majority of them as a result of falls, according to a press release issued by the Swiss Council for Accident Prevention on Sunday.

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