When you think of slips and falls, you normally think of them happening in winter. This is actually false; winter is not the only season that brings danger to our communities. It’s important to know that there are two major culprits of slip and fall injuries that occur a lot in the autumn season. Leaves are falling by the second and daylight is reduced. The sun goes down early and dusk is here before you know it. Not having light to lead the way can become a big problem! Either of these things can greatly heighten your chance of a slip and fall injury. If you would like to know how, continue reading.
Leaves: They might be pretty, but they sure are slippery!
Not only are leaves coating the ground and making it difficult to see what we are walking on, but they can fill and hide holes, dents and divots in the surface you walk on. If you are on unfamiliar sidewalks or roadways, consider carrying a walking stick or some type of pole.
Tap the ground in front of you as you walk so are able to find and AVOID the unevenly paved areas. It will prevent you from twisting your ankle or seriously injuring yourself by falling into them. Wet leaves can also be dangerous. In fact, wet leaves can be as dangerous as ice. If you have slipped on one, you can attest to this fact! Wet leaves are also very hard to rake. When they are moist, they stick to the ground making it almost impossible to easily rake the area. The safest thing you can do is to clear leaves from your walks and driveways as soon as you see them fall from the trees.
Lighting is Key
With daylight savings time, you may be faced with glaring sunlight directly in your eyes on your commute to work. Be sure you always have a reliable pair of sunglasses stored in your car. Sun in your eyes can make it almost impossible to see what is in front of your car as you drive. If you do not have your sunglasses with you, pull down your car visor and use that for protection against the blinding light!
You will also find that with autumn comes reduced visibility. Daytime is shorter, dusk sneaks up on us, and before you know it, it is pitch black outside. Businesses and homeowners may not have prepared well. This can cause lighting to be insufficient where you walk. If you have your cell phone with you, be sure to use your flashlight as a guide when you are walking on sidewalks, stairways and decks.
If you can’t see where you are walking, and you do not have access to a flashlight, be sure to walk more carefully to prevent falls. Remember, slow and steady wins the race!
If you own a home, be sure that your own property is ready for autumn. Regularly rake leaves as they fall. Make sure that all of your exterior lights are in working condition and if they aren’t, be sure to get them repaired before autumn hits. Any cracks or breaks in your concrete or blacktop should be mended before snow falls. It doesn’t take much time to take a walk around your property and perform general maintenance as you see fit.
Just doing these small steps can help to ensure your safety and that of others during this fall season.