Keeping Safe This Fall

The air is getting crisp and the trees are becoming splashed with brilliant hues of red, yellow, orange, and gold. Although the changing colors of autumn leaves are beautiful, when they fall to the ground they can become extremely slippery, especially when they become wet.

Driving on Leaves

Many do not realize that driving on wet leaves can be just as dangerous as driving on ice. Also, piles of leaves in the road can hide potholes and other road hazards.

If you are driving on a road covered with leaves, slow down, especially when maneuvering around turns. Be sure your windshield is free of leaves and check under your wiper blades as well.  Be aware that parking on a pile of dry leaves is a potential fire hazard. According to fire officials, dry leaves can ignite at about 400 degrees and the undercarriage of a car can heat up to about 600 degrees.

Walking

Similarly, leaves can hide defects on sidewalks and this should be kept in mind when out for a walk. Plus, when wet, they are just as slick as ice so be cautious to avoid slips and falls. Also, there are fewer hours of daylight in the autumn so earlier darkness makes it more difficult to see while you are walking.

Warn children not to jump into leaf piles as unexpected threats can be lurking. Hazards include mold that grows on fallen leaves, critters that can include spiders, beetles, and ticks, and sticks, rocks, or rakes. Most importantly, don’t let children play in piles of leaves that are in the street as there have been fatalities in the past involving children who were run over by vehicles that did not see them.

Rake Safely

When it’s time to clean up be sure to rake safely. It’s important to take precautions to prevent back injuries. Before starting, warm up muscles with a few long stretches. Wear gloves and long sleeves to protect your skin. Make sure the rake you are using is suitable for your height that it has ergonomic handles.

Leaf Blowers

If you are using a leaf blower to help with fall cleanup precautions should be taken. Some of the potential dangers include electrical injuries, electrocution, fires, eye injuries, hearing loss due to excessive noise exposure, breathing problems associated with dust kicked up and even death in extreme cases.

It’s important to remember that leaf blowers blow more than leaves. Safety glasses are a good idea as dirt and debris is kicked up in addition to leaves.  Before using your leaf blower, check the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission’s web site at www.cpsc.gov to make sure it has not been recalled. Thousands have been recalled as a result of malfunctions and injuries.

If you or someone you care about has been injured, contact Rosenberg & Gluck, personal injury attorneys, for a free, confidential legal consultation to learn more about your options.