Slips & Trips & Falls - Oh My! Staying Safe This Winter

The winter season has truly begun, which means that we’re about to see a complete overhaul in the weather that we are having. Traveling is becoming more and more treacherous, and it’s not just about the drivers out there. Those who commute to and from work on foot are going to find it increasingly difficult to manage on the sidewalks. The days are shorter, the nights are longer, and the decrease in daylight often means the risk of slips, trips, and falls happen. Not only that, but there is a chance that those on the wrong side of the law are going to find opportune moments to attack, too.

People who are running businesses need to consider the risk of trips, slips, and falls, too, this winter. They must think about how the exterior of their business is going to affect their customers, particularly in icy conditions. Being debriefed on premises liability law should certainly give them food for thought when it comes to keeping their premises as safe as possible and preventing injury. It’s dark and cold outside, so staying safe is so essential this winter. So, if you find that your commute to work has become scarier, then it’s time to consider how you can stay safe through the season.

Wide Road With Street Lights

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  • Don't Walk Alone

It’s dark by the time you finish work, and while the streetlights come on, it’s always better to travel in numbers. It’s not just about attackers in the bushes, either. You need to make sure that you’re not left on the sidewalk alone if you do have a trip or fall. The last thing that you want is to fall and have no one to help you out. Walk in groups so that you’re safer as you go; it’ll work out better for you in the long-run if you walk carefully together rather than alone and worried.

  • Tell People Your Route

Please keep in contact with a friend or family member so that you can let them know where you are. There are plenty of excellent apps out there that will enable your family members to track your location, but these only work if you have location services turned on. You should always keep your phone charged at all times, so if you are alone and you fall, you can call for help.

  • Prepare Your Business Exterior

Are you the owner of an office block or a shop? Whatever your business may be, get it ready! You need to make sure that you have thoroughly grit the paths outside your business premises, and you need to make sure that you put up extra lights and signs of slippery flooring. It’s not going to help you to have a lawsuit on your hands because someone has skidded on your premises and broken a leg!

  • Plan Your Route

If you are cycling or walking home, know your routes. Those country walks you took in the summertime may not be viable if they’re filled with snow! Choose well-lit paths that will give you the confidence to walk through them and don't stop along the way until you find somewhere with which you are familiar.

Person Holding Flashlight in Road

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  • Always Stay Vigilant

While we wouldn't recommend carrying weapons, we do recommend that you stay as vigilant as possible. It may be tempting to listen to music as you go, but it’s better to leave the headphones out and keep your hat off. You’re going to be safer if you can hear what’s going on around you. It’ll help you to react quickly if you can listen to everything as you go. It would be best if you also walked in the direction of oncoming traffic rather than have the traffic behind you - this will prevent any vehicles from stopping behind you.

  • Wear The Right Clothes

You need to remain safe, but if you get stuck in a snow or rainstorm, you want to know you’re safe from the elements. So, wear a waterproof coat, gloves, scarf and the correct shoes for walking. It’s not going to help you to wear high heels or stilettos in the frost, as all this will do is make it harder for you if it’s icy. Wear the right waterproof gear, and you’re going to be in a better position to stay safe.

  • Walk Confidently

If you appear as a vulnerable person when you are walking in the dark, you are a moving target for attackers. The best thing that you can do is walk as confidently as possible and show no fear of anything or anyone. It would help if you also tried to keep your hands free as much as possible. Holding too many bags makes you look like a target, and you can’t confidently defend yourself if you feel like a target!

  • Carry a Deterrent

Screech alarms, safety whistles, and even a mobile app that you can hold down, and it alerts the authorities where you are can all help you to stay safe as you walk. Also, if you fall and injure yourself, all of these things can let people know where you are so that you can be safely rescued.

  • Trust Yourself

Walking or cycling in the winter weather can be difficult, and travelling late at night is not always optimal. Where you can, call an Uber or get a lift from a family member to get you home. If you ever feel worried or uneasy about walking somewhere, the best thing that you can do is steer clear entirely! Never stop to talk to anyone you don't know in secluded or dark areas and pretend to speak into a hands-free device and let someone know you’re on your way. This can put off someone who is planning to harm you.

Dark winter nights don’t always mean an attacker is coming to get you, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't act as safely as possible. If you are a business owner, keep others safe as they leave your premises, too. It’s not just about being smart; it’s about being kind!