My friend recently told me a story that has made me think twice about winter weather safety. One night he was at his local watering hole with some other friends when it snowed for a short time before the snow froze over. Unaware of this fact, my friend exited the bar and took a nasty slip that resulted in a face plant onto a brick wall. My friend was not seriously hurt and shared the story thinking it was very funny, but in reality slips and falls have the potential to be very dangerous.
Icy sidewalks and streets can be deceptively unstable. Unpredictable weather can make it difficult to know what exactly you are getting into when you brave winter weather. Black ice is infamously troublesome while even normal ice can be difficult to spot outside of daylight hours. There are tips worth keeping in mind if you hope to avoid slips and falls during winter weather. But if you are unfortunate enough to fall, there is still an approach you can take to help you minimize further damage.
What is Affected by a Slip or Fall
You may only think about bumped kneecaps or sprained ankles, but in reality there are many parts of the body that can be affected by a fall. One of the less serious categories are cuts and abrasions. Even if there is a bit of blood or bruising, if it is obvious that nothing is broken, then you are lucky. A more serious category of injury has to do with your spinal cord. Generally, lower back injuries are inconvenient but not detrimental. However, injuries further up your spine can be a huge cause for concern.
The place of injury that is most serious is, of course, your head. Bumping your head can have a lasting detrimental impact on your brain’s health well after the headache is gone. If slipping and falling causes you to hit your head, it is extremely important that you seek medical help as soon as possible. Especially if your injury results in bleeding, swelling, or temporary loss of consciousness, it is impossible to overstate how important medical attention is.
Accidents happen. If you find yourself in a situation where you have fallen and may have hurt something, it is important to properly asses the situation. As in an emergency, it is best to stay calm. Slowly turn on your side and try to get up using an object to support yourself. Once you are back to safety it is time to ask yourself whether the fall was your own fault or due to a business’s or property owner’s negligence. If you deem it the latter and you are going to have medical bills, it may be time to contact a lawyer to discuss your options.
How to Avoid Slips and Falls
Strategizing against slips and falls comes down largely to awareness. If you are walking on a sidewalk or area you suspect may have a slippery surface, it is best to take shorter steps while traversing this path. Don’t feel bad about using a guardrail when possible because this diminishes the likelihood of a fall dramatically. If you live in a region where icy snow is common than this may be second nature for you. But for those who live in warmer climates, just remember that it is all the more likely an establishment or property owner may be less prepared for Inclement weather, making it necessary to take your safety into your own hands.
We all enjoy a night out now and then, but just remember that party shoes are often the toughest kind of footwear to navigate icy walkways. It is easy to forget that simple measure such as entering and exiting a building or car is much tougher on slippery surfaces. Be extra careful when exiting places as your feet are not yet acclimated to what the ground holds. With the right precaution, you can get through the winter months slip-free. Who wants unnecessary bruises during beach season, anyway?