The winter brings with it cold temperatures, ice, and snow. Unfortunately, these conditions are ideal for slip and fall accidents. In the best of conditions, slipping and falling can occur. Find out how winter can worsen your odds of an accident.
How Frequently Do Slip and Fall Accidents Occur?
Slip and fall accidents occur more commonly than you might think. Out of all hospital room visits, falling is the most common cause of the visit. With over 21.3% of hospital visits results of falling, the type of accident is quite common. About 12% of fall accidents involve slipping.
Unfortunately, many of these accidents involve serious injuries. In about 5% of all slip and fall accidents, fractures are the most serious result. Part of the reason for this could be the age of the victims. With one in every three individuals over the age of 65 falling, it is a likely occurrence.
Why Are They So Common?
Generally speaking, slip and fall accidents are common because conditions are unexpected. You can never predict what type of surface you are about to walk onto. In the winter, this becomes even more difficult. Often, ice is invisible until you step on it. When you do, you lose your footing and can fall.
Even when the weather is in your favor, there are many other dangerous conditions. In a building, there could be uneven floorboards, torn carpets, bad lighting, or other issues. Outdoors, there are hidden hazards like potholes and uneven asphalt. Sometimes, cracks in the sidewalk can even result in falling. In the winter, things are worse. You have to look out for those hazards, and you have to look out for ice. If there’s snow on the ground, it could hide other fall hazards.
With so many hazards, it’s no surprise that the winter season results in many slip and falls. The elderly are particularly vulnerable during this time of year. As people become elderly, they become less aware of their surroundings. Their vision often becomes less sharp. Instead of spotting ice before they step on it, an elderly person might not see it. Additionally, the elderly tend to have slow reflexes and poor balance. While a young person might start to slip and recover, an elderly individual might not be able to recover.
The Danger of Falling on Winter Ice
Any type of slip and fall accident can be dangerous. However, falling on winter ice can be particularly dangerous. First, there are the risks that come with falling outdoors. Inside, you might have the cushion of a carpet to soften your fall. However, outside you could fall on the asphalt or concrete. There is less of a chance that you will fall on a soft surface.