2020 has been a year of many firsts, but one thing that remains the same is the start of the winter season. Here in Colorado—as you might expect—roads, floors, and sidewalks can get slippery when snow and ice start to build up. Now is time to start thinking about how to keep you and your family safe during the winter months.
The risks of sustaining a debilitating injury in a slip and fall are high. There were nearly 20,460 snow-related workplace slip and fall incidents in 2017. Workplaces aren’t the only places that people should use caution—parking lots account for about 25 percent of all slip and falls in the winter. Icy surfaces are dangerous and can pose a threat to anyone, whether you’re going out for a bite to eat or holiday shopping. It’s essential to know how to protect yourself. Follow these five tips for avoiding winter slip and falls.
Wear Proper Footwear
Proper footwear can save you big time in the winter season. It wouldn’t be wise to wear sandals or shoes without traction while walking in snow or ice. If you’ve been a Colorado resident for quite some time, then you probably own a decent pair of boots or slip-resistant shoes by now. If you’re new here, visiting, or just haven’t had the time to go out and buy proper winter footwear, now’s the time to start! Invest in durable, water-resistant, and high-performance boots with rubber soles for optimal traction.
For extra protection, consider scuffing or spraying traction adhesive to the soles of your shoes. This will give the bottom of your boots texture, allowing you to walk more comfortably on slippery surfaces.
Remove Your Hands from Your Pockets
Your legs aren’t the only body parts that help keep you balanced while walking. Your arms play a significant role in keeping your body weight centered, which can help prevent you from tripping or falling. Unfortunately, when you have your hands in your pockets due to the cold, you’re automatically increasing your risk of falling.
Another issue with having your hands in your pockets is protection. It’s easier to slip and fall on uneven surfaces like sidewalks or parking lots, and if you do slip, you can’t grasp something or shield your face when your hands are in your pockets. The same concept applies if you’re carrying a bunch of items. Try using a backpack or purse instead of piling everything up in your hands.
Approach Slippery Surfaces With Caution
Whether you’re exiting your vehicle or entering a store, do so in a cautious manner. Places of business should be deicing pathways, but always assume that the ground is wet or iced over after a night of snow or rain. Take small steps while looking ahead to foresee what conditions you may encounter, and try your best to stay in designated walking areas. If it’s dark and you can’t tell if the ground is slippery, slowly tap your foot on the surface so you’ll have an idea of how to proceed appropriately.
Use Nearby Structures for Balance Support
Utilizing structures for balance support on slippery surfaces can help prevent a fall or reduce its impact. For instance, if you’re exiting your vehicle, hold on tightly to the door or steering wheel before taking a big step. Once you can safely exit the car, locate the nearest area with handrails, concrete posts, walls, or any other secure object that you can hold onto when walking to your desired destination. To reduce the possibility of falling once you’re inside, thoroughly dry your feet off on a mat.
Give Yourself More Time to Avoid Rushing
People are more likely to fall on slippery surfaces when they’re moving too fast. More often than not, people move too quickly because they are in a rush to be somewhere. To avoid rushing, give yourself plenty of time to get to where you need to be. Consider traffic, road conditions, routes, and weather when deciding the best time to leave your home.
Slip and Fall Lawyers in Colorado Who Will Fight for Justice
While slip and falls can occur at your private residence, they can just as easily happen at someone else’s business or private property. Property owners are responsible for exercising a high degree of responsible care and caution to ensure customers or guests are not put in danger from hazardous conditions, such as slippery floors or icy parking lots. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall and believe that someone else’s negligence caused you harm, speak to the experienced Colorado slip and fall lawyers at Mintz Law Firm.
At Mintz Law Firm, our 150 years of combined experience in personal injury law and passion for helping those who fall victim to someone else’s negligence has made our firm what it is today—renowned, successful, and results-driven. What brings clients in Colorado to us is our shoot-straight motto and commitment to being available at all times. Allow us to steer you through these uncharted legal waters and build an evidence-based case on your behalf. Call (303) 462-2999 or complete a contact form today for a free, zero-obligation consultation today.