In the United States, a million injuries often occur during the season of fall. Walking accidents are classified into four types, with slip and fall leading, as the most common type. This is the kind of accident that occurs when you slip and fall on ice or snow surfaces.
Martin B. Tirado who is current CAE, Executive Director of the Snow & Ice Management Association, stated that the public gives the greatest concern on the risks of driving during icy and snowy conditions; however, they show little concern or none at all for the hazard of walking on ice and snow. They have not realized that a great number of winter-related injuries as slipping and falling happen while walking which will greatly affect the injured person’s quality of life.
SIMA which is a national nonprofit organization standing for the snow removal industry, offer these tips on safe winter walking.
- Wearing the proper footwear – Wear shoes that properly place your whole foot on the ground surface and have visible treads to keep traction. Refrain from using footwear with smooth sole and it is better to choose flat bottom footwear.
- Accessorizing to see and to be seen – Don your sunglasses to see clearly even with the reflective light of the snow. Also, put on a bright coat or use a vivid hued-scarf so that drivers can easily see you.
- Planning ahead – Always take the sidewalk when you are walking along icy and snowy paths or on parking lots. Be conscious that you are walking; do not just look down but also look up to see where your feet are moving next so you are prepared for ice or uneven surfaces. Also turn your vision from left to right to see if you are not in the way of oncoming vehicles or other hazards.
- Making sure you can hear – Being able to see and hear in any environment is important. Be receptive to hear any approaching traffic and other kinds of noise. Do not listen to music from your mobile or actively engaged in conversation that may distract you from hearing approaching traffic or equipment for removing snow.
- Anticipating ice – Be alert for icy thin sheets that may look like wet pavement. Often, this ice sheet can be seen in the morning as spots of shades or during day time when the sun shines and at night appearing as melted snow refreezes.
- Walking steps slowly – Be extra careful when you walk down the steps, hold handrails firmly and plant your feet safely on every step.
- Being careful in entering building – When you reach your destination such as home, office, library, school, shopping center, work etc. gaze down on the floor as you get inside the building. There might be melted snow and ice on the floor.
- Taking extra precaution when you transfer your weigh – When getting off a curb or stepping out of a car; be very careful since transferring your weight may result to an imbalance and causes a fall.
- Avoiding shortcuts – If you are pressed for time, taking shortcut is the best option but not during the winter season with the ground filled with ice and snow. A shortcut path is dangerous with the ice and snow since you are unfamiliar with the terrain.
- Looking up – Be wary what you walk under. There is falling snow/ice that breaks away from buildings & awnings, blows or melts coming from up there that can cause injuries.
By following these tips, you will ensure of a safe survival during the snow and ice season.
If you or a loved has suffered due to negligence you may wish to consult with experienced Injury Lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Please note strict deadline apply and it is in your best interest to contact an attorney immediate.