Most Atlanta residents haven't yet forgotten last year's storm season that caused numerous accidents and injuries due to the icy conditions. While it's rare for it to snow in the area, ice storms are a more common occurrence - and are extremely dangerous, both for vehicle traffic and those on foot. During the fall and the upcoming winter, people should be aware of the risks of slipping and falling when the weather gets wet or icy.
It's dangerous nearly anywhere that puddles or ice abound, but there are some spots that are known more than others to increase the risk of falling. After a storm, people should take extra caution walking in and out of stores, particularly just inside the doorways. Sidewalks and parking lots are likely to be slippery, especially at night or early morning when puddles may have iced over. Heavy traffic areas are more hazardous when wet, and even more so on slick walking surfaces such as linoleum or tile. Ramps and stairways are especially dangerous spots to slip on wet patches or ice.
According to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, there are preventative measures people can take to avoid slipping and falling. These include:
- Wearing winter boots with treaded soles, or non-skid shoes on wintry days
- Walking with short steps rather than taking long strides
- Testing a wet or icy patch with one foot before moving on
- Keeping hands and arms free for balance in a potential fall
- Using handrails or other safety devices provided in high-risk areas
Slips and falls are one of the major causes of emergency room visits in the country, says the National Safety Council. With more than 9 million injuries from falls every year, it's easy to see why this is a serious personal injury topic. Property owners have a responsibility to prevent accidents by putting down mats, spreading salt on icy spots or wiping up spills, but not every fall can be predicted or avoided. You may be entitled to compensation if you've been hurt in a fall.