Here in Georgia, we don’t face the same seasonal slip and fall risks as those in the Northern states. Our brushes with snow and ice are few and far between, and typically short-lived. But, that doesn’t mean we don’t face any seasonal hazards. Summer may not seem like a high-risk time to walk in Atlanta, but it does present some special challenges.
Atlanta Summertime Slip, Trip, and Fall Hazards
Summer typically means more people spending more time outdoors. That’s great in many ways: fresh air, sunshine, increased exercise, and families and friends spending time together. But, that increased activity can also mean increased risk of slip and fall or trip and fall injuries. For example:
- In the summer, people spend more time at pools, water parks, lakes, and other places they can cool down with water. The upsides are obvious, but there’s also a common hazard: wet surfaces are one of the most significant slipping hazards. More time on boat decks, docks, splash pads and walks surrounding pools, the more opportunity there is to slip on a slick surface. And, sprinklers, people washing cars, kiddie pools and other summer water sources may mean sidewalks and steps are wet, as well.
Protect Yourself: The most important safety precaution in areas that may be wet is to be aware and be careful. Don’t run on wet surfaces, or where you may find unexpected wet patches. You may also want to consider slip-resistant footwear.
- More people and more activity means more debris. That could mean anything from a skateboard on the sidewalk to litter on the ground at an outdoor event or carnival to gardening implements and hoses left in the yard. In short, there’s more to trip over in the summer. And, more activity also means more possible distractions, making it easy to overlook those obstacles until you make contact.
Protect Yourself: Here, too, being alert is your best defense. Take special care in high-traffic areas or near yards with kids and toys, where outdoor projects are underway, and near construction sites. You’ll also want to make sure there’s adequate light when you’re walking at night. Even a relatively small item left in the grass or on the sidewalk can be a hazard if you can’t see it. If the area where you’re walking isn’t sufficiently lighted, consider another route or use a flashlight.
- Grass clippings can create slick surfaces. That’s especially true when they’re wet, but grass contains a lot of liquid, so added moisture isn’t required to make it slippery. You may have heard that grass clippings present a hazard to motorcyclists on the road. While less extreme, the risk to pedestrians is similar. This is true for autumn leaves, as well, so this hazard extends beyond the end of summer.
Protect Yourself: This summer slip hazard falls into the “now you know” category. Many people don’t expect grass or leaves to be slippery, and so don’t bother to go around them or step more carefully onto them.
- Poorly maintained trails and walkways present tripping hazards, from tripping over a root or loose concrete to stepping in a hole. Summer activities, from hitting the hiking trails to browsing the zoo, mean more time spent walking in unfamiliar areas, controlled and maintained by someone else. This type of tripping hazard exists year round. In summer, though, the higher activity level and greater foot traffic when kids are out of school and families are on vacation means both more opportunity for accidents and more wear and tear.
Protect Yourself: Sturdy footwear can be your best defense when you’re hiking potentially uneven trails or unfamiliar terrain. And, of course, stay vigilant. Don’t walk along looking at your phone or otherwise distracted, and avoid low-visibility areas.
Injured in a Slip or Trip Accident?
If you’ve slipped or tripped on someone else’s property and suffered an injury, you may be entitled to compensation. In Georgia, property owners and occupants are typically required to exercise a degree of care in keeping the premises safe for visitors. The care required depends in part on why the injured person was on the property. And, an injury victim who contributed to the accident through their own negligence may be found partially responsible. The best source of information about whether you may be entitled to compensation after a slip and fall or trip and fall injury is an experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney.
Atlanta attorney ReShea Balams fights for maximum compensation for people who have been injured through someone else’s negligence, including victims of motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall injuries, medical malpractice and more. The Balams Firm offers free, no-obligation consultations so injury victims can gather the information they need to make good decisions in difficult times. You can schedule yours right now by calling 855-352-2727 or filling out the contact form on this page.