Slips, trips, and falls are the number 3 cause of accidental death in the United States, right behind motor vehicle accidents. No matter where you are in the world, if you are indoors or outdoors, you can experience a slip or fall. Slips and falls can naturally happen indoors when going upstairs or walking on wet hardwood or uneven flooring, but they are more common outdoors in parking lots and on sidewalks, stairs, decks, and other areas that are affected by the weather.
Follow these tips to keep yourself safe and avoid having a dangerous slip, trip, or fall.
Consider Your Shoe/Footwear Choices
Depending on the weather in your city, you may need to change your plans for the day. If your area is experiencing lots of rain, opt for shoes that have traction, like tennis shoes. If it’s really muddy and slick outside, look for shoes that are fit for hiking. When it comes to footwear in the wintertime, store your steel toe boots. If you wear them too long in the cold, they could cause hypothermia in your feet. Waterproof shoes that have good traction on the bottom should be the top qualities to look for when buying your next pair of winter shoes.
Planning an outfit that requires heels or sandals? Make sure that the weather is sunny with no chance of ice, snow, rain, and the terrain is dry – or if the weather is wet, wear better shoes until you reach indoors safely. You’ll be protecting your ankles from any potential harm. If you are climbing stairs in shoes with heels or sandals, take care to grip the stair railing to help keep balance you don’t fall.
Tread Forward with Caution
Wintertime environments are some of the most dangerous when it comes to the risk of a trip or fall due to the ice and snow that can accumulate. Another dangerous climate is one with a ton of rainfall. Rain can cause even the flattest of areas to become slick and offer up a one-way ticket to a fall. In order to protect yourself from experiencing a fall in these two dangerous climates, choose to wear shoes that are high in traction and waterproof. Another big tip is when entering or exiting buildings, do your best to avoid walking on curbs or steps if you can help it. Walk with caution and do not run in these conditions or you are increasing your chances of falling.
Take All the Precautions You Can
Here are a few things to be mindful of when faced with an inclement weather situation. When getting out of your vehicle, keep a hand on the vehicle to support yourself because you don’t know how slick the ground is. Did you know that putting your hands in your pockets to keep warm is more dangerous than it is worth? Keeping your hands free is necessary because by putting your hands in your pockets, you risk your balance since you’ve now lowered your center of gravity.
What Happens If You Fall?
The number one thing that you should do if you do happen to take a tumble is to tuck your head in towards your chest to avoid hitting your head. Keep your elbows and knees bent when you fall and try to land on your butt to help protect your body from sustaining any injury. If you’re unsure how your insurance would protect you in the event of a slip, trip, or fall-related injury, reach out to your local agent to make sure you’re covered for this common risk.