5 Tips to Avoid a Slip and Fall This Winter

Dec. 26, 2018

Illinois sees plenty of cold weather in the winter, with its fair share of snow and ice. Many people consider themselves lucky to get through the winter without a spill or two on the icy ground.

Unfortunately, slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries. For some seniors, a fall can even be fatal. The risk of a fall goes up as the temperature drops. This winter, follow these five tips to avoid a slip and fall accident:

  • Don’t rush. Leave the combination of speed and ice to hockey players. Take your time walking. Also, be careful getting out of vehicles.

  • Wear the right gear. Make sure you wear sturdy shoes or boots with good tread on the bottom. You can always change into more stylish shoes when you arrive at your destination, if you like. Wear your glasses if you need them so you can see where you are going, and don’t forget that sunglasses aren’t just for the beach. Snow glare can make it very hard to see.

  • Look where you are going. Sometimes ice seems to come out of nowhere, especially black ice. Keep an eye on the path ahead of you. This applies indoors, as well, where people’s wet shoes track snow and water, causing slippery spots.

  • Use handrails. They can help you keep your balance, and catch you if you begin to fall. Try to keep your hands free when you walk. Not only will they be free to grab a railing, they help you keep your balance.

  • If you do fall. Despite your best efforts, you may still find yourself on your way down. Try to relax and roll into your fall. If you fall backwards, try to land in a sitting position. You are better off with a bruised tailbone than a head injury.

If you see a dangerous condition while you are out, report it to a manager or owner so they can correct the problem. In Illinois, a legal concept known as premises liability requires property owners to keep their properties reasonably safe. This means clearing ice and snow in a timely manner. If you do slip and fall on someone else’s property, you may have a premises liability claim.