The coldest and iciest part of winter is one time of year when people should exercise the highest degree of caution. According to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control, winter weather conditions kill more than twice as many people as the summer heat.
Among the various factors that can make winter accidents deadly, 1 million Americans are injured in slip and fall accidents each year. Among the 42,480 workplace injuries in 2014 that were caused by ice or snow, 82% of these injuries were the result of slips or falls.
Safety Strategies to Stay Safe This Winter
Ideally, you will limit the amount of time that you spend going out in the worst weather conditions whenever possible. If you must go out, however, there are some important safety strategies you should remember.
Some of the helpful tips that you should follow while traveling on ice or snow this winter include:
- Reduce ice time. Limit the amount of time that you might spend walking across ice. This means, walking on grass or snow whenever possible. Similarly, you should make sure to immediately remove snow on any areas where you frequently travel before it has the potential to become ice.
- Wear footwear with adequate traction. Unfortunately, no one shoe material is suitable for every condition. If you are traveling on snow, you should make sure to wear footwear with either neoprene or rubber soles, which provides much better traction than other shoe material.
- Walk consciously. You should remain alert to the risk of slipping on ice at any second. As a result, you should avoid the temptation to hurry anywhere. Instead, travel slowly with your weight kept forward and your front foot. You should also walk flat-foot by taking short, shuffling steps.
- Walk cautiously. You should rely on your arms to keep your balance. This means keeping your hands out of your pocket. You also should avoid carrying a heavy load, which can cause you to lose your balance. Instead, it is a better idea to keep your arms out to the side.
- Handle curbs properly. If your path involves a curb, you should step down rather than out. You should similarly exercise caution whether you are entering or exiting a vehicle.
- Keep your knees slightly bent. Rather than walk with an erect, stiffened posture, you should keep your knees slightly bent. It is much safer to spread your feet out slightly like a penguin as you walk across the ice because this increases your center of gravity.
Injuries can Still Occur This Winter
Unfortunately, no matter what safety precautions you take this winter, there is still a risk that you might be injured in a slip and fall accident. Some of the most common injuries faced by people who fall on snow include:
Speak with an Experienced Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
If you were injured due to a fall on ice and another party is responsible, you should promptly speak with an experienced personal injury attorney right away. Contact Cohen & Jaffe today to schedule a free case evaluation.