Several factors combine to form a perfect storm of conditions for slip and fall accidents in the winter season. Some of these conditions, examined in greater detail, include the following:
Slick and icy roads can make it harder for a driver to avoid a collision with a pedestrian. Sleet puddles and ice patches on poorly treated or untreated walkways may also impact the way a pedestrian moves near the road. They may be less likely to pay attention to oncoming traffic when they are trying to avoid stepping in a puddle or slipping and falling on a patch of ice. Sometimes these obstacles force pedestrians to walk in the street. Pedestrians are more likely to rush when it is cold outside. Slowing down and being mindful of your surroundings can prevent slip and falls.
Reduced Visibility for Pedestrians
Often, winter clothing such as hoods, bulky scarves, or hats, can impact a pedestrian’s range of vision and make it hard to see ice on walkways. Keep your arms and hands-free from any restraints to stop a potential fall if you happen to slip on ice or a slippery surface. Fog, rain, snow, and darkness can also reduce visibility and a pedestrian’s reaction time. It is also known that precipitation like rain and snow reduces ambient light. Because of this, the hours at dawn and dusk tend to be the most dangerous.
Failure to Maintain the Inside and Outside of Businesses
It is the business owner’s responsibility to maintain the inside and outside of their business to ensure customer safety in inclement weather conditions. Slippery sidewalks, parking lots, and stairs are a safety hazard if not properly maintained. When driving, black ice in parking lots may not be visible and can pose as a dangerous hazard when exiting and entering your vehicle. If you cannot avoid an area covered by ice or snow, it is recommended to proceed with caution as it is hard to see hazards lying underneath the snow that could cause a potential slip and fall accident.
Despite these risky conditions, there are things you can do to stay safe as a pedestrian walking in the winter. This includes:
- Making yourself visible to drivers by wearing reflective clothing
- Wearing appropriate footwear with good traction
- Using handrails when available on slippery surfaces
- Being cautious of clothing that can impact your peripheral vision
- Never using your smartphone while walking to avoid distractions
Philadelphia Slip and Fall Lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates Help Those Injured Claim Compensation
If you or someone you love has been injured in a slip and fall accident due to the negligence of a business owner, a Philadelphia slip and fall accident lawyer at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates can help you obtain the compensation you need using premises liability laws. To schedule a free consultation at our office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or Voorhees, New Jersey, call us today at 215-567-6600, or submit an online inquiry.