Accidental falls are one of the leading causes of injury in the United States. Colder temperatures and precipitation leads to icy driveways, sidewalks, stairways, and streets; this only further increases the risk of injury due to falls, slips, and trips during the winter months. Protect yourself from injury this season with an ounce of prevention.
When it comes to preventing slips, trips, and falls, a little extra caution can go a long way. Whether you are on your way in or out of the house, headed for work, or simply running errands, follow these safety tips:
- Slow down and concentrate on the path ahead;
- Take shorter strides;
- Whenever possible, go around noticeably slippery areas as well and areas that are covered by leaves or other debris;
- Use handrails whenever provided;
- Clear away snow from your own driveway or porch and sprinkle an abrasive substance to provide traction on icy areas;
- Check entrances and exits carefully before stepping into them; and
- Watch closely for changes in walking surfaces (dirt to concrete or asphalt, etc.).
Wear (and Correctly Use) the Right Gear
Shoes are always an important part of your daily attire, but in winter weather, they can mean the difference between falling and not. So choose heavily textured boots or shoes to give your feet more traction. If dress shoes are a must, pack them in a bag and change them once you are safely indoors. Another alternative is to purchase rubber over-shoes with tread that can be slipped over your normal street shoes. Also, whenever coming in from the outdoors, clean off your shoes; caked snow and ice on the bottoms can make almost any indoor surface more dangerous.
If You Fall
While much of your reaction during a fall is involuntary, you can minimize your risk of serious injury if a fall does happen by going with the fall instead of fighting against it. Try sitting down if you start to slip backwards. If you begin to fall forward, roll as best as you can to avoid hitting your face, arms, or hands.
If fall on the premises of another individual, a business, or your workplace and suffer serious injury, you may be able to seek compensation through a premises liability lawsuit. However, because these types of cases are based on a variety of factors—some of which are complex—it is highly suggested that you seek the expertise of a premises liability attorney for help.
At Hurley, McKenna & Mertz, P.C., we carefully examine each case and compile as much evidence as possible to give our clients the best chance for a positive outcome. Dedicated to protecting the rights of victims and compassionate to the unique situation of each victim, we offer the kind of skills, knowledge, and experience that comes with 75 years of serving victims. To find out how we can help with your case, contact our Chicago personal injury attorneys. Call [[phone]] today.