As evidenced by the recent snowfall of this season, those of us who enjoy the cooler weather and wintertime sports and outdoor activities are thrilled that winter has finally arrived. Whether you are snowboarding, ice skating, tubing, skiing or just having a good old snowball fight, be aware of the potential dangers and hazards that are present. Unfortunately, all too often, we at Decof, Barry, Mega & Quinn, P.C. work with clients who suffered a personal injury in a winter-related incident. Some simple tips will enhance your winter fun, and help decrease the chance of an activity turning numbingly sober because someone is hurt.
Many of the wintertime sports, if they occur at business establishments, will require you to sign a consent and waiver acknowledging the level of danger of the sport and the injuries that can result. Nevertheless, such waivers often do not excuse outright negligence by a third party, like another participant. Everyone should take caution not to crowd a facility or crash into another skier or snowboard enthusiast.
As great a skier, snowboarder or skater you may be, injuries can and do occur in more traditional locations due to the winter weather. Be mindful in the ski lodges, restaurants and walkways, of skis, hats, boots, coats and people that may cause a fall. Be aware of snow and ice buildup that may have been left un-cleared, causing you to slip and slide. Take your time to check out your surroundings indoor and outside and plan your path.
Separate and apart from wintertime sports, you will need to deal with snow and icy conditions on the roads. Plan ahead. Allow enough time to plan for untreated roads, bumper-to-bumper traffic and slower speeds on roads, streets and bridges. Allow enough space between you and the driver in front of you, whether it be on back roads or highways, in case the person in front of you applies the brakes suddenly or someone abruptly tries to cut into your lane of travel. Also, if you find that the driver behind you is traveling too closely, move to another lane when safe to do so.
When walking in a parking lot, slow down and look where you walk. When going up and down steps, hold on to the banister. Also, wear the proper footwear for snow and ice accumulations.
This is the ideal time for many varied wintertime sports and activities. Participate and enjoy while being aware of your surroundings and properly dressed for the wintertime fun. And drive safely!