Winter poses a number of unique safety hazards, especially in cold climates that may result in snow and ice accumulation. In particular, sidewalks and other paved surfaces can grow much more dangerous.
What are the biggest risks of these paved surfaces? How, if at all, can you cut down on these risks or even avoid them entirely?
Slipping on sidewalks
State Farm discusses some of the most dangerous points of winter sidewalks. That is, of course, the ice that forms over them. Naturally, people will struggle, slip and fall no matter what sort of shoe they wear, as most “everyday wear” shoes do not take ice, snow and sleet into consideration.
On top of that, ice is often hard to see. You might notice slick patches on the sidewalk, but it is just as likely that you might mistake a patch of ice for a patch of water and step right onto it. It is possible for black ice to appear on sidewalks, too, depending on the color and the angle that light strikes. This makes it nearly invisible, leading to easy accidents if the ice does not get quick treatment.
Who maintains the sidewalks?
Of course, it is up to the property owner to whom the sidewalk belongs (including potentially the city itself) to maintain sidewalk safety in winter. This means putting down ice melt, salt, sand or even warning signs to let people beware of the ice they might run into ahead. If they fail to do this and that leads to you suffering from an injury, you might want to consider taking legal action.