Avoiding Falls in Winter Weather

rain

The days are getting shorter and cooler, and we here in Sacramento are hoping for lots of rain this winter to help our drought.  In addition to thinking about warmer clothing, hearty soups and umbrellas, it is a good time to be aware of winter safety tips as well.  One of the dangers of wet, and especially icy, weather that is often not discussed in our generally mild climate, is the risk of falling.

Wet surfaces often mean slippery surfaces.  One of the danger zones during wet weather can be the entrance to an office building or store, where the water, dirt and oil from visitors’ wet shoes is deposited, creating a slick and hazardous walking area.  It can be difficult to maintain one’s footing in such an area.  Often, but certainly not always, businesses will put up signs to create awareness of the hazard.  It is important to be aware and careful of the walking surface on wet days, but often we are rushing around and do not always remember to step cautiously.  Certain types of flooring are more prone to cause slipping.  Marble, ceramic and other smooth tiles are key offenders.

There are steps one can take to reduce the likelihood of winter falls.  Wearing footwear without high heels and with proper traction is the best place to start.  A slippery surface and a teetering heel is a dangerous combination!  If there are handrails available, by all means use them.  Sometimes an area may be so slick that grabbing onto the wall or other stable structure is necessary.  Carrying a heavy load, such as an overstuffed backpack or too many grocery bags, affects one’s balance and can contribute to a slip-and-fall incident, so keep your load lighter on inclement weather days.  Also, just be aware on a wet day that the potential to slip and fall is greater, so keep alert and keep your hands free to balance and/or catch yourself if you feel your feet slipping out from under you.

Parking lots are another area where greater caution is required, due to uneven curbs, potholes and especially areas of oil from parked vehicles.  Oil mixed with rain water is a trap ready to take down the most sure-footed among us.

In your home and businesses, clean up spills and accumulated water as soon as possible and consider having a “wet floor” sign handy to use when needed.

Despite all precautions, accidents do happen and those accidents can lead to injury.  If you or someone you know has suffered a slip-and-fall injury and have questions, do not hesitate to contact experienced Sacramento slip-and-fall lawyer, Edward A. Smith.

Before consulting a Sacramento personal injury attorney, always check reviews on sites such as Yelp.

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