Fall and winter weather conditions increase the risk of trips, slips, and falls. Falls are one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in home and community settings. You can protect yourself as you are out and about this winter season with the proper safety knowledge.
Prevention Is the Key to Avoiding Injury
Knowing the risks and preventative steps to take to keep yourself and your family out of harm’s way is one of the effective ways you can avoid the risk of a slip and fall injury in the winter. Here are easy to follow tips that you can use to help you and your loved ones stay safe:
- Avoid walking outside with your hands in your pockets, especially during the colder months. Wear gloves to keep your hands warm instead. Keep your hands free, so you’ll be able to brace yourself if you suddenly slip on a wet or frozen surface.
- Always wear appropriate shoes. Wearing heels or shoes with leather soles is dangerous and can lead to a slip and fall if you try to navigate an icy sidewalk or parking lot. Shoes with rubber soles improve traction. Put on your more fashionable shoes when you arrive at your destination.
- Test the ground before taking steps. Ice and slippery surfaces, especially areas covered with snow or leaves, are not always easy to identify. If you suspect an area may be slippery, check the surface without using your body’s full weight before you step on it.
- Try to avoid carrying heavy loads when traveling over areas packed with leaves, ice, or snow. These areas can become slippery, increasing your risk of injury if you try to balance heavy items.
- Never run across wet or leaf, ice, or snow-covered surfaces. Watch your steps carefully and proceed slowly with caution.
- Use a handrail, door handle, wall, or any other secure object to brace yourself when walking on icy or snowy surfaces. This way, you avoid the risk of having your feet slide out from underneath you.
- It is also essential to be aware that the elderly are at higher risk of sustaining severe or fatal injuries slip and fall accidents. If you are older, don’t be afraid to ask your family or neighbors for help. For those with elderly relatives or friends, offer them an arm or hand for balance.
Homeowners and business owners have a legal obligation to maintain their properties. During the fall and winter months, this often includes removing leaf piles, shoveling snow, salting the roads and sidewalks, and clearing a safe walking path.
If you’ve been hurt in a slip and fall accident this fall or winter, you might be eligible to file a claim against the property owner or individual responsible for maintaining the accident scene. A slip and fall lawyer at our firm will be happy to sit down with you, review your claim, and advise you of your legal rights. Call Cariati Law now at (905) 629 8040 to schedule a FREE legal consultation.