Plenty of residents of Long Island enjoy the Winter more than any other season. They enjoy the holidays, the beautiful snow, and of course, a perfectly good reason to dig out and sport warm, winter-weather clothes. As much as we enjoy Winter ourselves, we also know it can cause a great number of personal injuries. We’d like to discuss some of the most common types of personal injuries that occur during the wintertime and how you can make your best efforts to avoid these types of injuries.
As the weather becomes colder, snow begins to fall, and ice begins to cover the roadways and parking lots across Long Island, the chance of slipping and falling increases. It can be near impossible to spot black ice on the pavement. According to the National Safety Council, slips, trips and falls are the 3rd leading cause of unintentional death in the United States. It’s so important to be careful as the weather gets colder and ice begins to form. Once the temperature outside reaches around 34° Fahrenheit (ice forms at 32° Fahrenheit – but wind chill can form ice on the ground), it’s important to be extremely vigilant while walking. Not all property owners 1) take proper care of their premises or 2) have the time following a storm (which may cause ice to form) to deice their grounds.
Even if your place of work hasn’t quite cleaned up the parking lot after a storm, your employer likely still expects you to come to work. It’s important that you stay vigilant while walking from the car to your office building. It’s a good idea to bring a pair of boots that have good traction on the bottom to work – you can always change into your work shoes when you get to work and back into your boots before you leave. This could drastically reduce the risk of falling if you happen to walk over the ice. Wearing shoes that are worn down on the bottom can easily lead to a slip and fall if you walk over ice or a snowy, slippery surface. If your office building isn’t carpeted, there’s a good chance many of your colleagues or business clients are dragging in snow, which makes for slippery conditions inside your workplace. So be careful while you are walking through your workplace, especially if you’re walking up or down stairs that don’t have traction step treads.
The icy conditions of Winter can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, often leading to an increase in car accidents. Please read our informative article on ways to get out of a skid. But icy or slippery roads aren’t the only reason car accidents tend to spike during wintertime. Friends and family are traveling all around to visit their friends and family for the holidays, and the roads on Long Island are already crowded and for some, difficult to navigate. The holiday season increases this traffic.
Atop the increase of traffic, a lot of individuals imbibe at social gatherings or holiday parties. Some may decide, even after drinking a lot of alcohol, that they’re fine to get behind the wheel. So, not only is there an increase in traffic on the roads, there’s also an increase of intoxicated drivers on the road during the holiday season. These factors most definitely contribute to an increase in car accidents during the wintertime.
The best thing you can do is to drive slowly and vigilantly on icy roads. Never drink and drive and never get in the car with someone who has drank even the slightest bit. Also, if you witness another car weaving or driving erratically, keep your distance from that car. The driver may be intoxicated.
With the holiday season comes the holiday rush. Parking lots become disastrous. With pedestrians rushing to get from store to store, walking through parking lots distracted on their phones, and drivers rushing around to find parking spaces, pedestrian accidents become a significant threat. Statistics regarding pedestrian accidents in parking lots are staggering. To learn more about statistics taken by the National Safety Council, click here. It really is scary how many drivers admit to maneuvering through parking lots while distracted.
What can you do? Make sure you stay extra cautious while driving and walking through parking lots. We cannot express how important this is. Don’t be distracted while driving – with your GPS, your cell phone, or any other devices. Always have your eyes surveying the parking lot. Back out of your parking spots slowly to make sure you don’t back into anyone, and take it slow when looking for a parking space. Don’t feel rushed. As a pedestrian, always stay attentive to your surroundings.
Believe it or not, burn injuries are quite common during the wintertime. A lot of times, these burns are electrical in nature. Holiday lights with exposed wiring or damaged cords and space heaters can cause serious burns, especially if they catch fire. Artificial or real trees catching fire is a huge problem around the holiday seasons too, as well as candles and fireplaces.
Be careful. Always make sure your holiday lights have safe wiring. Never plug in a light with a damaged cord. Make sure you read manufacturer directions when using space heaters, and always turn them off when you leave a room or if you suspect them of overheating. Make sure you water your real tree the right amount so it doesn’t dry out, increasing the chance it will catch fire. Be extremely careful with both candles and fireplaces. Make sure your chimney is cleaned, and never leave a candle or a fireplace lit if you leave a room.
If you live on Long Island and are injured as a result of another party’s negligence or intentional conduct, contact Palermo Law, P.L.L.C. We’re one of the highest-rated Long Island Personal Injury Law Firms for a reason. You can trust us to win you the compensation you are entitled to for your losses.