The winter season is well underway here in Springfield, Missouri. Winter weather can make the roadways treacherous, but it can also create hazards just walking down the sidewalk. Slip and fall accidents during the winter are very common. According to ecmag.com “nearly 80 percent of all slips, trips and falls can be attributed to the presence of snow and ice on stairs, walkways, loading docks, parking lots, sidewalks and other walking surfaces.” This adds up to a lot of unnecessary injuries and emergency room visits. The National Floor Safety Institute reports that “falls account for over eight million hospital emergency room visits, representing the leading cause of visits.”
Here are some tips to help you avoid winter slip and fall accidents on ice.
- Sure footing – Walking on icy surfaces requires slow and deliberate steps. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear such as boots or a slip resistant shoe. And, exercise extreme caution when getting out of a vehicle onto a snowy or icy pavement.
- Field of vision – Wear sunglasses when you are walking outside in sunny conditions. This will give you clearer vision and allow you to more accurately discern slick or icy surfaces.
- Keeps hands free – If you have a lot of items to carry, use a cart when possible to keep your arms free and give you a better field of vision.
- Use arms for balance – Walk with your hands and arms out to your side. This will give you better balance to manage the icy area. If you feel like you are going to fall, don’t put your hands in front of you to brace your fall, rather, tuck your head and try to roll. If you start to fall backwards, tuck your chin to your chest to avoid direct impact with your head.
Property Owners and Business Owners
- Clear the way – When at all possible, treat icy surfaces before they become a problem. Use salt or another effective de-icing product and shovel any snow from the area before it becomes compacted into ice.
- Monitor changing conditions – Take great care in fluctuating temperatures. Once ice has melted, it can quickly refreeze into black ice. Be proactive and aware of the condition on your walking surfaces.
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury as the result of a slipping and falling on ice or snow, contact the experts at Morrissey Law Firm to discuss your rights.
The Morrissey Law Firm, PC, is located in Springfield, Missouri, and focuses in personal injury and wrongful death trial work. If you need a personal injury or wrongful death attorney, please visit our website or call (417) 887-0529 to schedule a consultation.