PREPARING FOR WINTER WEATHER HAZARDS
Winter is by far the most dangerous season for New Yorkers. Snow, ice, and deep freezing temperatures cause hazardous conditions for pedestrians and drivers, increasing the risk of weather-related accidents on sidewalks and roads.
Preparing your family to react accordingly to severe weather conditions is extremely helpful in preventing injuries during this chilly season. To get you started, follow these safety recommendations to keep everyone alert and ready for the volatile months of winter ahead.
Driving through snowstorms and ice can be terrifyingly unpredictable. Though you have no control over the weather or road conditions, practicing safe driving habits can greatly reduce your chances of a vehicle accident:
- Drive slowly and in control.
- Leave plenty of room between you and other cars.
- Always use blinkers before you plan to switch lanes/turn.
- Brake gradually whenever possible to avoid sliding.
- If driving visibility is poor due to snow, try to stay off the roads.
Whenever possible, make sure your car is in safe running condition to allow for quick reaction capabilities on the roads. Systems you want to ensure are exceptionally intact include brakes, tires, and visibility components (wipers, lights, defrosters, mirrors, etc.). To prepare for the possibility of becoming stranded in the snow, keep an emergency kit in your car with supplies. Food, water, warm clothes/blankets, snow removal tools, and traction aids are beneficial in the event of a breakdown or accident when help cannot reach you immediately.
PROPER SNOW REMOVAL
Shoveling snow can be a strenuous task, placing a great deal of stress on your back, knees, and heart. Exhaustion and dehydration can also pose health risks, particularly to individuals who shovel for long periods without breaking. To avoid injuries due to shoveling, it’s helpful to:
- Warm up before shoveling and wear plenty of layers.
- Shovel small amounts at a time.
- Push the snow when possible instead of lifting.
- Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of liquids.
- Lift with your legs, keeping your back straight.
- Avoid twisting your body to reduce back stress.
For those lucky enough to own a snow blower, you are not out of the clear for injuries! Snow blowing accidents typically involve strains in the shoulder from pull string starts or severe lacerations/amputations when attempting to clear snow-jams. ALWAYS turn off the snow blower before removing a jam and use a long stick to unblock ice and snow.
PREVENTING PEDESTRIAN SLIP AND FALLS
Falling on ice and snow can result in serious injuries such as broken bones and concussions. If you have control over the walkways around your home, make sure to thoroughly clear snow from paths and adequately salt areas where ice builds up. When walking outdoors in the wintertime, make sure to follow these tips to help prevent slips and falls:
- Wear footwear with traction on ice/snow.
- Take short steps.
- Hold onto a railing when available.
- Walk slowly for the ability to react quickly when slipping.
Winter weather hazards are unavoidable. But with a plan in place for reacting to these ruthless conditions, the chances for a weather-related injury can be decreased.
If you or someone you love has suffered a weather-related injury due to the negligence of another, our dedicated team is here to help. Contact Rosenberg & Gluck, personal injury attorneys, for a free, confidential legal consultation to learn more about your options