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Slippery Situations Caused by Winter Weather


“Be Nice, Clear Your Ice” the famed statement made by Canadian cartoonist Ben Wicks, and for good reason.  A slip and fall on a slick surface during winter can have serious repercussions.  Slips and trips can result in injury and long-term health consequences.  Resulting injuries can include: head injuries (causing brain damage that can contribute to memory, cognitive, behavioral and mobility problems), back, neck and spine injuries (than can result in chronic pain and may require surgery) and torn tendons and ligaments (which lead to lifelong physical pain and may also require surgery). For the elderly in particular, a bad slip and fall may even result in death.

Slips, trips, and falls are one of the most common forms of personal injury in Ontario caused by a number of different factors, one of which is seasonal.  Frosty weather conditions can make sidewalks, walkways and driveways dangerous if not cleared. Icy build up can lead to the potential for personal injury if someone slips and falls.  The potential for injury is increased at night when property owners may not have yet had an opportunity to clear and salt walkways or roadways.

The best defence against a slip and fall injury is preparation and planning.  Here are some tips to help minimize risks in a slippery situation:

  • Give yourself extra time, at least fifteen minutes more in order to prepare for heading out the door in the morning. Running late and being in a frazzled state can cause you to miss and icy patch and increase your chances of a fall
  • Gear up with the proper attire which includes weather appropriate foot ware. While waterproof, well insulated boots with thick tread soles may not be fashion forward, they will greatly reduce your chances of slipping.
  • Literally tread lightly and don’t freeze up with panic at the sight of ice. Tensing up will only make the hurdle greater. The best thing to do is slow down, take a deep breath and take the proper stance. Relax your shoulders and keep your feet apart, and keep your knees slightly bent and loose to maintain your balance. Keep your steps small and steady and you should be able to cross that icy path.
  • Exercise your best discretion. If it isn’t absolutely necessary to be trekking out in icy conditions then remain indoors where you diminish the potential for being harmed

While a slip and fall can be instantaneous the impact can be life altering.  Recovery and rehabilitation can be long, painful and ongoing. If you, or someone you know has sustained personal injury as the result of an extreme weather situation contact The Morris Law Group for assistance.  We are available to discuss your legal rights and options.