How to Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents in Autumn | Scott Goodwin Law

How to Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents in Autumn

by / Monday, 12 October 2020 / Published in Tips
Rake with leaves.

Fall can be a beautiful and very fun time of year. With the excessively hot days of summer behind us, it can be very pleasant to get out and spend some time outdoors before winter arrives, whether it’s to take a drive to see some fall color, visiting your favorite cider mill, or finding the perfect pumpkins at the pumpkin patch. Halloween can also be a lot of fun to look forward to. Or it can be nice to just stay home on a cool, fall day and enjoy a book or watch a favorite movie or TV show. But with all of those fun things to do during the fall season, it’s important to remember that autumn can come with a higher risk of slip, trip and fall accidents.

One important thing homeowners can do to help keep people safe is stay on top of leaf cleanup, making sure leaves are removed from your sidewalk, driveway, and walkways leading to and from your house. As beautiful as all those colorful leaves are, once they land on the ground, they can potentially become a safety hazard. Rain is a very common occurrence during the fall months and when those fallen leaves get wet, they can become extremely slippery. Not only is it very easy to slip on wet leaves, leaves can also cover up things on the sidewalk that can pose a trip hazard, like uneven or damaged concrete.

Autumn is also a good time of year to make sure you have enough exterior lighting. As we say goodbye to summer, we also say goodbye to the extra daylight we get during the summer months and the amount of daylight we get each day diminishes very quickly. But just because we’re getting less daylight, that doesn’t necessarily mean people won’t be out and about walking. Outdoor lighting can be very helpful in making sure people are able to walk by and walk up to and from your house safely and is particularly important if people will be walking up steps to your house.

Even though winter doesn’t officially arrive for a while yet, don’t forget that fall weather can be very unpredictable. Sometimes, there are unseasonably warm days and there may also be some unseasonably cold days that can bring snow. Even when the weather isn’t unseasonably cold, the temperature may still drop below freezing overnight and cause water on the sidewalk to turn into ice. Before things get too cold, make sure your snow shovel is handy and that you have some salt/ice melter on hand. You never know when you might need to clear your sidewalk or get rid of a patch of ice on your driveway.

Are you a fan of putting up Halloween decorations in your yard? If your decorations include lights and other things that need to be plugged in, make sure cords are kept out of the way of areas where people walk. Sometimes, power cords can be very difficult to see when stretched out on the ground, even when lighting conditions are good, making them a serious trip hazard.

Don’t forget about slip and fall hazards that occur indoors! On rainy fall days, water can easily get tracked inside on shoes when people walk into the house which can make many types of flooring materials very slippery. Make sure you have a mat by the entrances to your home where people can dry their shoes off or take them off before going any further into the house. If you spot any water on your floor, make sure it gets cleaned up right away.

Everyone slips/trips and falls sometimes, but not everyone is able to get right back up again afterward. Every year, many people suffer serious injuries after a fall, like broken bones, spinal cord injuries, soft tissue injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. In some cases, falls can even be fatal. If you’ve been injured in a fall, don’t hesitate to contact a slip and fall injury lawyer. Very often, slip, trip, and fall accidents could have been prevented and a lawyer will be able to help you understand your rights. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to get help from a lawyer experienced in Michigan law. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

Credit: iStock / Elenathewise