While a personal injury accident can happen at any time, some types of accidents are more likely to happen during certain types of weather. For example, icy roads lead to more skidding and vehicle crashes, while icy sidewalks lead to more slip and fall accidents. It is important to be aware of the impact that weather can have on your safety and take steps to avoid personal injury accidents caused by icy or snowy conditions as winter sets in.
The Facts About Ice, Snow, and Accidents
According to the Federal Highway Administration, about 24 percent of weather-related vehicle accidents occur on icy pavement, and 15 percent occur during snow or sleet events. Every year, more than 1,300 people die and more than 116,800 are injured during vehicle crashes on snowy or icy roads, and 900 fatalities and 76,000 injuries are attributed to snowing or sleeting weather conditions.
In addition, recent studies indicate that more than twice as many people die or are injured during winter cold than summer heat. This includes more than half of the one million victims of slip and fall accidents each year. Icy sidewalks and slippery steps account for the majority of these accidents, but wet floors from tracked-in snow also contribute their share of accidents.
How To Keep Safe During Winter Months
There are several things you can do to increase your safety during the winter months when snow and ice are a daily fact of life:
- Slow down. One of the most important things you can do to decrease your odds of being involved in a slippery, icy road accident is to slow down as you are driving. Allow extra time to get where you are going, and try to stay under the speed limit. Of course, you should also slow down even more if you realize the roads are hazardous.
- Drive defensively. While it is important for you to monitor your own driving during hazardous conditions, it is equally important to watch out for others who may not be doing the same. If you see someone driving too fast or erratically, give the driver plenty of room.
- Stay home. If possible, one of the easiest ways to avoid an accident is to stay home during particularly bad weather. Always judge whether to go out based on your level of need and avoid driving if at all possible during snowstorms and ice events.
- Walk carefully. Use small steps and slow down as you walk on potentially icy sidewalks. In addition, try to avoid any patches of ice you may visibly see.
- Salt sidewalks and steps. Sidewalks and steps should be sanded or salted before you attempt to walk on them. This can help you avoid a slip and fall.
At Barber & Associates, we have been helping Alaskans seek compensation for personal injury accidents for decades. Our professional attorneys will work with you to ensure that your rights are protected and that you recover as much money as possible to pay for your medical bills, increased expenses, and pain and suffering. If you have been the victim of an accident involving a personal injury, do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you!