Although walking on sidewalks and going shopping might not bring all the dangerous of operating a large motor vehicle on an icy road, there are still some habits and tips to keep in mind in order to make sure you stay safe. Sidewalks can present numerous dangers in winter for pedestrians, especially slush and ice that can be very treacherous. Watch out for wet and dangerous conditions in store entrances, and be mindful of other pedestrians to make sure no one is injured while shopping.
Perhaps the biggest danger as a pedestrian in New York during the winter season is sidewalks that are not properly maintained. Not only do you need to worry about cracks and uneven ground, but snow and ice can be very dangerous. Slip and fall injuries can range from bruises and sprains to broken bones and even severe head trauma. Be aware of snowy and icy conditions on sidewalks and walk carefully on slippery surfaces.
Areas with high foot traffic, that are not properly shoveled and salted, can be especially dangerous. Footsteps through snow can pack down the snow into slippery ice, and if these areas freeze overnight, then they become more dangerous. Fresh snow can cover a layer of ice, hiding the danger from casual observations, so always be careful when walking on snow, slush, and ice. Footsteps that freeze can also create very uneven ground, which makes it very easy to twist an ankle or slip and fall.
When entering and leaving a store or other building, be aware of wet areas around the entrance. Snow from boots tends to melt, and tiled entryways can become very slippery and dangerous. Store owners should make reasonable efforts to keep these areas safe through the use of entry mats with good traction and frequent mopping as needed to dry the area.
Other pedestrians also present a wide range of potential dangers. You should typically try to walk on the right side of a sidewalk, since most pedestrians naturally mimic driving habits, and make sure you pass other people safely. In crowded areas, it can be easy to get pushed or knocked by someone else, which can be dangerous on slippery ground due to ice and snow. Just as motorists should share the road to drive responsibly, pedestrians should always share sidewalks and make room for each other.
If you or someone you love has been injured due to a slip and fall that resulted from another person’s negligence, then call Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP today at (212) 986-7353. We can talk about your case and discuss the options available to you.