The Hazards of Winter in the Bronx
Each year millions of Americans fall victim to slip and fall accidents. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), one out of every five falls results in a serious injury such as a broken limb or head trauma. Although contributing causes for slip and falls varies wildly for Bronx area residents, hazardous conditions such as slippery surfaces rank among the most common culprits. For pedestrians, walking on sidewalks, taking the dog for a stroll, running errands, or getting the doctor’s recommended 20 min jog in can be fraught with hazards, especially during the winter months. Winter slips and falls are a leading cause of insurance claims and emergency room visits, with over 20,500 reported workplace slip and fall injuries involving snow, ice or sleet according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2016).
The Danger of Slip and Falls in Winter
Each year more than 800,000 individuals are hospitalized as the result of a slip or fall.
The statistics surrounding these types of injuries are alarming with:
- 20% of falls resulting in serious injuries such as head trauma or fractures
- 95% of debilitating hip fractures caused by falls
- 30% increase in death rates from falls between 2007-2016
Winter brings with it not only the fury of Mother Nature, blasting Bronx area residents with blustery cold winds and harsh conditions, it also makes travel of all varieties (including walking) a challenge.
Slip and falls from ice and slippery pavements are usually abrupt, sudden, and unexpected (especially with black ice), giving pedestrians little time to take corrective actions such as grabbing a handrail or protecting their heads. The result of this can range from minor bruising to severe trauma up to and including death.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Lifetime of Pain
The best way to avoid injury when navigating the Bronx on foot is to take preventative steps to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you.
Knowing the risks and staying one step ahead means you can keep you, your family, and your employees or patrons safe and healthy this season.
Tips On Reducing the Risk of Slipping and Falling on Wintry Roads, Walkways and Steps this Season:
- Keep Your Hands Free: It might be tempting to put your hands in your pockets to keep them cozy, but doing so eliminates the ability to use your arms for balance, to brace yourself in case of a fall, and to potentially stop a fall in mid progress by grabbing on to a railing.
- Proper Footwear: You wouldn’t wear boots to the beach would you? Similarly, wearing indoor athletic shoes or other non-winter footwear is asking for trouble. Manufacturers specifically engineer and test rubberized boots for grip and traction, reducing the chance of losing your footing.
- Test the Waters: One of the trickiest parts of navigating pavement and walkways in winter is you never know just how slippery they are until it’s too late. Don’t ever hesitate to test the ground in front of you before taking that next step. If you find an area is too slippery, consider simply walking around it.
- Shoveled Areas May Be A Disaster In Disguise: Shoveled areas may look well-maintained, but if salt wasn’t added after the snow removal, that leftover slush is more likely to turn into ice, a far worse surface to navigate than snow.
- Avoid Carrying Heavy or Awkward Items: These can easily throw you off balance on slippery surfaces and increase the risk of injury with the item ending up under or on top of you if you fall.
- Go Slow: The last thing you want to do is rush. Take slow, careful and deliberate steps. Remember, being late is better than not showing up to the destination at all.
- When Available, use Support: When possible, give yourself an edge by using walls, door handles and railings for added balance and support.
If You Fall, Give us a Call!
Slips and falls rank among the most common types of accidents in the Bronx, especially during the winter months. Yet, the majority of these accidents could have been prevented. If you have suffered an injury as a result of a slip or fall on icy or snow-laden pavement, walkways, or other surfaces, give us a call or shoot a message our way. We’ve helped countless Bronx area injury victims get the justice and compensation they deserve, and would love to know more about how we can help.