Even though spring is right around the corner for much of the country, there is still the chance of heavy snow and sleet, even ice storms, for almost two-thirds of the country as weather patterns shift and become increasingly violent in coming years. Whether it’s caused by global warming or some other combination of factors, the fact is that icy conditions occur more frequently and last longer today than they have in the past century. Attorneys from Brooklyn accident lawyer have a few recommendations you should be aware of to reduce your risk of falling.
It’s a nightmare for adults who have to navigate the nation’s roads always on the lookout for black ice. And for those who like a good walk in bracing weather, especially the elderly and others with fragile bone systems, it can be deadly. Statistics show that many serious falls occur just between the driveway and the front door. ERs have been flooded this winter with cases of fractured hips, broken wrists, even concussions — all from a simple slip on an icy sidewalk, slippery stairs, or a patch of ice in a parking lot.
In Nordic countries like Sweden and Denmark, the residents routinely wear crampons during the winter months to help them stay on their feet when things are slippery outside. Crampons are a set of metal spikes embedded in a web of latex that are spread across shoes, giving the walker extremely good traction on any kind of surface. The problem is that crampons are extremely bad for carpets, linoleum, and tile floors — in fact, on a tile or marble floor a pair of crampons makes shoes as slippery as if the wearer were on ice!
As with any issue concerning a person’s health and welfare, there are precautions that can be taken to help lessen the risk of a serious fall, and to avoid situations where such an occurrence is likely. These proactive steps will help:
Watch out for black ice
Black ice is not just a roadway hazard. While it’s always advisable to watch for it on the street, it’s also a prevalent winter hazard for pedestrians. Keep an eye out for pavement that looks wet and shiny, or for patches of pavement that are covered with a thin smooth layer of snow. Black ice is most likely to form underneath trees and other shady spot, or in places where the sun melts the snow during just part of the day but is shaded long enough for water to freeze overnight. Most black ice forms overnight and is at its most potent during the early morning hours.
When icy pavement conditions are suspected, don’t run. Walk slowly and deliberately. Keeping the eyes focused on the immediate foreground helps spot the most dangerous patches of ice to be walked around.
Entryways are often slippery in winter
Be especially wary around the entries to public buildings like grocery stores, banks, the post office, and office buildings. These areas tend to become increasingly slippery with melted snow as the day progresses, despite the best efforts of the janitorial staff.
If you experience a serious fall, one that results in a trip to the doctor and lingering aftershocks, be sure to consult a personal injury attorney to learn more about your options and rights.