As autumn winds down and winter arrives, so do the risks associated with winter weather. Whether it’s ice, freezing rain, or snow, winter weather poses hazards that can cause serious injury, even permanent disability. You can reduce your risk of serious injury during upcoming winter weather by following a few simple safety tips from Dallas Accident Lawyer Michael Lonati.
Know the Risks for Falls During Winter Weather
According to the National Safety Council, unintentional falls are the third leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. Additionally, unintentional falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries, accounting for a huge percentage of emergency department visits each year.
During the winter months, inclement weather can cause a spike in serious injuries due to falls, car accidents, frostbite and hypothermia. Winter-weather-related falls often lead to hospitalization.
According to the CDC, 20% of falls cause a serious injury, such as a broken bone or a head injury. These risks increase as we get older, especially in seniors who have issues with balance, mobility, and vision problems.
Know the Winter Weather Conditions That Cause Falls
Snow and ice on walkways are the leading cause of fall-related injuries during the winter months.
Some layers of ice are easy to spot, but dangerous patches of ice that form on walking surfaces can be deceiving.
Black ice is a thin, transparent layer of ice that can form on pavement, sidewalks, walkways, and asphalt. Because it’s clear, black ice can be hard to spot on walking surfaces, especially if the path is covered by snow. The chances of falling on black ice increase even more if a person is walking on paved surfaces at night when visibility is low.
You should also be aware of any ice or snow that is tracked into your home when you come inside. Melted ice and snow can create slippery areas on a hard flooring like tile or wood.
Invest in Shoes with Good Traction
Poor footwear is a key contributor to falls during winter weather.
If you work or spend time outside during the winter, it is vital to have shoes that are designed for icy conditions.
Search for shoes that have flat, non-slip soles and larger treads. These features will give you more stability and control when walking on icy surfaces. They can also help prevent snow from packing onto the bottom of your shoes in snowy conditions.
It’s also important for your winter shoes to be waterproof. This will help keep your feet dry when walking outside.
Walk Slowly On Paved and Non-Cleared Surfaces
Slip and fall injuries during winter typically happen on driveways, parking lots, sidewalks, and patios. Typically, these are areas where we’re just trying to get from one point to the next, and the speed of our pace is an afterthought.
Unfortunately, walking too fast can increase the likelihood of suffering a serious fall when conditions are icy.
Always walk slowly with slightly bent knees when you step outside, especially if there was a recent snowfall or freezing conditions. Check walkways and paths for signs of ice, especially if there is a fresh layer of snow.
Call a Dallas Accident Lawyer for Slip-and-Fall Injuries Caused by Winter Weather
The tips above can help you be prepared for winter weather and prevent falls and serious injuries. Unfortunately, we can’t always control when and where icy conditions happen. When we visit businesses, offices, and other people’s property, we can’t always trust that icy conditions have been properly addressed for others’ safety.
If you’ve been injured from a slip-and-fall accident on another person or corporation’s property, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries.
Attorney Michael Lonati is a leading Dallas accident lawyer specializing in slip-and-fall cases and other injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.