Winter is right around the corner! Many people associate winter with colder temperatures and the holiday season, but personal injury attorneys often associate winter with an increased risk of accidents. There are a number of different types of accidents that are more common in the winter, including car accidents and slip and falls, to name a few. To protect yourself this winter, follow these tips from our experienced personal injury attorneys:
Stay Safe on the Roads
A lot of people travel during the winter, especially around the holidays, which means there will be more drivers on the road than usual. To avoid getting into a car accident, make sure you remain focused on the road every time you are behind the wheel. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your final destination so you don’t feel the need to speed to get there faster. Remember, because there are more drivers on the road, it may take longer for you to get where you’re going.
If the temperatures drop, the roads can start to get icy, even here in Los Angeles. Stay in control of your vehicle by leaving plenty of room between your car and the car in front of you. It may take longer for your car to come to a complete stop when the roads are icy, so this extra room can help you avoid rear-ending the person in front of you.
Finally, be mindful of the state that you are in before getting behind the wheel. There are fewer daylight hours in the winter, so you may find yourself getting tired earlier than you usually do because of the darkness. Drowsy driving can be dangerous, so it’s never a good idea to get behind the wheel if you’re fatigued.
Many people catch a cold in the winter and take over-the-counter medication to help them feel better. If you take any medication, even if it is prescribed or sold over-the-counter, make sure you read the label to understand how it will affect your ability to drive. Many cough, congestion, and sore throat medications list drowsiness as a side effect, so they shouldn’t be taken before you have to drive.
Keep Your Footing
Ice often accumulates on sidewalks and other walkways when the temperatures drop, which is why slip and falls are so common during the winter. To prevent this type of injury, be sure to wear appropriate footwear. If you know it’s icy outside, wear slip resistant shoes. Put your phone away while walking outdoors so you can pay attention to where you’re stepping. If you have to walk over a patch of ice, go slowly instead of racing to get across it.
If ice starts to accumulate around your house, protect yourself and your guests by using a de-icer that is pet-friendly. A pet-friendly de-icer does not contain any salt or harmful chemicals, so it will melt the salt around your home without putting animals or little ones in harm’s way.
As the holidays inch closer and closer, you may find yourself rushing around town to buy all of your loved one gifts. Retailers are typically more crowded than usual during the winter, especially right around the holidays. This means that the stores may be more dangerous as well, so it’s important to pay attention to your surroundings while you shop. Look for products that have fallen off of the shelves, carpeting that has ripped, or puddles on the floor that may have been caused by spills. These are all safety hazards that could lead to slip and fall accidents and serious injuries. Even though you may be in a hurry to get all of your holiday shopping done, nothing is more important than your wellbeing, so slow down and shop safely.
The roads and shopping malls may be dangerous, but many injuries occur at home during this time of the year. If you use a space heater, for example, be sure not to leave it on if you do not plan on staying home. In fact, the heater should be turned off even if you have just moved to another room. The heater should always be kept far away from flammable items such as bedding, curtains, clothing, and Christmas trees. Once something catches on fire, it only takes a few minutes for the fire to spread, so be incredibly careful when using these heaters.
Speaking of Christmas trees, if you plan on putting one up this year, do not use any decorative lights that appear to be frayed or damaged. These lights could be defective and dangerous, so inspect them closely before putting them on your tree. Even if the lights appear to be completely safe, turn them off before leaving the house or going to bed. The same safety tips apply to any decorative lights that are placed on the outside of your home.
If you light holiday candles in your home, never leave them lit while you are not in the room. Make sure they are placed on a table or countertop that is out of the reach of small children. They should also be placed in a spot where pets cannot reach them or knock them over, such as a high countertop. By following these tips, you can keep everyone in your home safe this winter.
No one ever plans on getting injured, but it’s important to know what to do in the event that you are. If you are injured due to another person’s negligence this winter, contact Carpenter, Zuckerman, & Rowley right away to discuss your case. Our personal injury attorneys will immediately begin to gather evidence, identify the liable parties, and fight for the compensation that you deserve.