Winter weather is upon us – that can cause some hazardous situations for pedestrians on the streets of New York City. Even though snow and ice can cause an injury, it does not need to keep you from shopping, going out to eat or attending your favorite venues.

However, in the effort to continue your normal lifestyle of getting around the city, you may want to remember that walking in the winter can be extremely dangerous. In that spirit, enjoy the winter months, but proceed with due caution. 

Understanding the dangers

The National Safety Council reported that there are around 25,000 deaths attributed to slip and falls every year in the U.S. While all of those are not on ice or snow, it does show that slipping or falling can be a problem for both young and old.

A slip and fall can cause more serious health problems than just a bruise, here are a few of the injuries that have come from a slip and fall on ice or snow:

  • Traumatic head injuries, including brain injuries
  • Injuries to the back or spinal cord
  • Broken bones
  • Severe injuries to soft tissue
  • Death

Precautions to prevent a fall

Even though business and property owners are responsible for keeping their areas safe for those who are walking during the cold months, there are ways to reduce the danger of falling yourself:

  • Wear appropriate footwear – You may be going for looks, but sacrificing style for safety may keep you out of the hospital. Boots are recommended for winter walking especially if they are equipped with nonslip rubber soles.
  • Watch how you walk – Take short steps and walk flat-footed to evenly distribute your weight over potentially slick spots. Keep an eye out for black ice.
  • Keep arms and hands free – Avoid carrying anything in your arms, or use a backpack. Keep your hands out of your pockets to improve balance and to catch yourself if you fall.
  • Stay on flat surfaces – Inclines, declines or bumps in the path make a difficult walking situation worse.

Slip and falls can be very painful and can cause significant physical injuries. No matter how careful you may be, walking in winter conditions can still cause an injury. If you have suffered a fall due to winter conditions on a property that is not your own, you may be able to claim premise liability from the owner.