While walking on sidewalks and in public places, or entering and exiting your car or truck, DO NOT underestimate the dangers of snow and ice.
Each winter slip and fall accidents claim the lives of hundreds and leave thousands more with devastating injuries. Even when surfaces do not look especially icy or slippery, it is very possible that a thin sheet of transparent ice is covering your pathway putting you at serious risk. When you approach a sidewalk or roadway that appears to be covered with ice or snow, always use extreme caution.
The following 9-tip checklist can help you avoid the possibility of a broken bone that could easily lead to an expensive surgery and a long recovery:
1. Take sidewalks whenever possible. If there is no sidewalk and the street is clear, and you have no other choice, walk against the flow of traffic and stay as close to the curb as possible. Avoid walking in the streets at all costs if possible. Remember, cars and trucks slip and slide, too!
2. If it’s an emergency, and you can’t avoid the street, wear bright or reflective clothing.
3. Wear clothing that does not restrict your vision. Stay warm, but DO NOT impair your vision with hoodies, ski masks, scarves, hats, etc. This type of clothing could prevent you from spotting icy conditions that may lead to a fall or not enable you to see a car that is spinning out of control.
4. Snow and ice cause havoc quickly, so use extra caution when crossing roadways, and always cross at designated crosswalks.
5. Ice can easily hide under a light dusting of snow. Just because you don’t see the ice doesn’t mean it’s not there waiting for your unsuspecting footfalls.
6. When walking on unfamiliar sidewalks or roads, keep your eyes open, as you may not have knowledge of where potential danger exists.
7. If you can’t avoid the ice and snow, bend your knees slightly and take slower, shorter steps to help reduce the chance of a slip and fall and an injury.
8. If forced to use the steps at someone’s home, apartment, or other public facility, walk slow and take shorter steps when descending. The same is true of driveways and other hilly terrain; these areas can be very dangerous when they become slippery with ice or snow. Steps especially can be hard to clear and build up ice easily.
9. Be aware of overhead hazards! Falling icicles and chunks of ice kill hundreds of innocent people each year. Icicles can build up in size very quickly. Their size and dagger-like formation are extremely dangerous for pedestrians. Again, each year, hundreds of people are killed by falling ice, so be aware of what’s happening above you, and stay clear from the edges of buildings.
If you were injured as the result of a fall due to slippery/icy roads, parking lots, or sidewalks, please contact an experienced injury attorney before speaking with the insurance company. If you don't contact an attorney that specifically handles personal injuries, there is a strong likelihood you might be left out in the cold with thousands of dollars in unpaid medical bills.