Steps to Prevent Winter Injuries in Oregon
Whether you live alone, are raising a family, enjoying retirement, or anything in between, Oregon is certainly a beautiful and special place to live. In fact, in recent years, Oregon has consistently placed in the top two or three spots for having the greatest percentage of people moving in. Boasting charming towns, a large city, mountain ranges, forests, rivers, and coastline, Oregon truly has something for everyone.
Oregon also enjoys a diversity of climates, which can vary greatly depending on location and season. And while each season has enjoyable aspects, each season also presents its own particular challenges for staying safe. In this article, we’ll consider some common sense steps you can take to help prevent winter injuries.
Watch your step!
Slips and falls can cause injuries at any time of year. The problem is exacerbated for those who live in areas of the state that have snow and ice during the winter.
While everyone is susceptible to falling down, the dangers are even greater for older adults. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that falls are the leading cause of death and injury in the United States for adults 65 years of age and older. If you live in (or plan to visit) a part of the state with snow, here are some safety steps to keep in mind:
- Only walk in snow when it’s necessary. This may sound awfully simple, but lots of people who fall on ice or snow later reflect that other alternatives existed.
- Wear the proper footwear. Shoes and boots designed for the snow have soles with better traction. Plus, they’ll help keep your feet warm! The footwear should also have good ankle support, which can help you remain steady in the event of a slip.
- Consider removable ice grips. If you have no choice but to walk in the snow frequently, consider removable ice grips. They attach to the shoe and add an additional amount of grip when walking.
- Remove excess ice and snow from your shoes frequently. This allows the channels in the soles to function better.
- Don’t rush. Take your time and really concentrate on what you are doing.
- Take small steps to better maintain balance.
- Use handrails when available.
Drive safely and with the appropriate equipment
Winter is also a time during which many car accidents occur, and other car-related issues arise. Below are a few precautions to consider:
- Have your car checked out before the onset of winter. Winter brings the added concern that if your car unexpectedly breaks down, you could be stranded in the middle of nowhere under dangerous conditions. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have your car checked. This includes testing your battery and cooling system to make sure they can withstand cold temperatures. A full inspection is advisable.
- Keep a set of jumper cables in your car at all times.
- Keep a warm blanket, food, and water in your car. That way, if you do break down, you’ll be prepared for the elements while waiting for help.
- If possible, stay off the road when conditions are unsafe.
- Exercise tire safety. First, make sure you have the right tires for your environment. Some areas of the state have more concerns with rain, while some are concerned with snow. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), thousands of injuries and deaths occur every year due to inadequate tire safety. And remember, cold temperatures will cause your tire pressure to decrease. A tire professional can help you with these decisions.
Call with questions
Notwithstanding the issues created by winter, many accidents result from the negligence of other people. For example, slips and falls may occur because a proprietor failed to keep conditions safe for an invitee. On the road, negligent drivers sometimes cause accidents by driving unsafely in dangerous conditions.
The experienced Oregon premises liability and personal injury lawyers at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield will be happy to answer your questions. To keep society safe, we believe it’s important to hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions.