Last Updated on December 21, 2023

8 Winter Safety Tips to Avoid Slip and Fall Accidents in Syracuse

Staying safe during the winter season in Syracuse is easy if you are prepared. Here's a few tips to keep in mind to make sure that you and your family are safe from slips and falls this winter.

The winter months in Syracuse usher in heavy blankets of snow, icy sidewalks, and hidden fall risks. Compared to warmer regions of the country less accustomed to snow, the slick streets and pavements pose unique hazards for pedestrians unprepared for frosty conditions.

Snow days are exciting, but treacherous sidewalks and roads put Syracuse residents at risk of slips and falls. As communities decide whether to cancel school and work, you need to know how to stay on your feet. By learning what causes winter wrecks and taking a few safety measures, you can steer clear of accidents even in harsh weather.

This guide shares key details about seasonal dangers and simple suggestions to help you this winter

Examining What Makes Syracuse Winters Uniquely Risky

Syracuse’s location within the Great Lakes “snowbelt” signifies its place among the top snowiest cities in the United States, with over 114 inches of snow per year on average. These high annual volumes make clearing every sidewalk and alcove an ongoing fight.

The city also experiences substantial temperature fluctuations above and below freezing, which leads to the refreezing of partially melted ice overnight. The combination of accumulated snowfall, hidden ice patches, and rapidly changing weather conditions contributes to a spike in pedestrian falls.

Simply bundling up for the cold proves inadequate for navigating terrain fraught with slippery obstacles. Preparing for winter requires a multipronged approach to avoid the most common injuries associated with slips and falls.

Here are some of the most common personal injuries that you might experience if you don’t take extra precautions:

  • Ankle sprains
  • Knee sprains
  • Wrist fractures
  • Head injuries/concussions
  • Bruising and soreness

8 Syracuse Winter Safety Tips

When it comes to avoiding tumbles in Syracuse’s slippery season, reliable information and practical safeguards make a difference. These ten tips provide a starting toolkit:

Outfit Shoes Properly for Icy Conditions

Consider purchasing add-on traction treads or replacing tread-worn shoes before the deep freeze hits. Look for rubber sole shoes rated for ice traction and prioritize winter footwear investments over aesthetics for maximum slip resistance.

Travel with Ice Melt Supplies

Keep a ziplock bag of commercial ice melt pellets or gravel in your bag to sprinkle over frosty patches. Hardware stores sell calcium chloride and salt crystal melting blends formulated to activate at wintery temperatures. To use this, you first need to spot treat slick areas that pose a stepping hazard and then sprinkle them all over the area.

Illuminate Icy Areas

Carry a pocket flashlight or phone light to shine on questionable sections of sidewalks and parking lots, especially when walking at dusk or night. Eliminating dark shadows and spots allows better hazard visibility and avoidance.

Walk Cautiously

Mimic penguins’ flat-footed shuffle with short, careful steps across potentially slippery ground cover. Wider stances increase stability, while smaller strides prevent momentum that could slide feet forward out from underneath you. Also, keep hands out of pockets for quick reflex reactions.

Prepare for Emergency Assistance

Fully charge cell phone batteries before venturing out in case of a serious fall requiring medical help. Program any emergency contacts under ICE (In Case of Emergency) on smartphones. Keep the numbers of school nurses, athletic trainers, and other trusted adults accessible as well.

Use Main Cleared Pathways

Stick to main sidewalks and thoroughfares cleared of snowdrifts and debris accumulation. When possible, avoid improvised shortcuts when trekking through uncleared areas at heightened risk of hiding slippery ground cover and tripping hazards.

Monitor Weather Developments

Check local weather forecasts and winter storm advisories before planning travel for school, work, or social engagements around town. Slow-moving winter storms create a higher likelihood of slick ice buildup or heavy snow dumping that hinders visibility and safe passage. When extreme weather looms, postponing non-essential trips enhances safety.

Share Winter Preparedness Knowledge

Once equipped with reliable seasonal awareness and practical stability tips, proactively pass along information to classmates, friends, and family. Making winter safety a shared, collaborative effort engenders community strength and resilience during the colder months.

What Should I Do If I Slip and Fall?

Despite smart precautions, an accidental winter slip could still send you toppling. Here are steps to take after your fall:

Assess Your Injuries

Before reacting, first assess injuries by scanning your body from head to toe. Take inventory of any scrapes, bumps, or pains. If nothing hurts badly, use poles or bags—not your hands—to slowly rise back up. Rapid movements risk falling again. Standing too quickly after a blow to your noggin risks passing out.

Seek Medical Attention

Seek medical attention after any substantial falls resulting in deep cuts, obvious fractures, knocks leaving you dazed, or severe spread-out pain. Adults should monitor minors who hit their heads or seem confused post-tumble as well. Calling 911 summons emergency responders to assess scary symptoms needing immediate care.

Document the Scene

It's also important to document the scene. Take photos of the hazardous conditions, like uncleared ice or snow, that may have contributed to your fall. Capture any defects in the sidewalk, steps, or parking lot that led to your accident. Thorough scene documentation provides critical evidence if you need to seek damages or workplace injury compensation down the road.

Deal with Minor Injuries at Home After Having a Medical Evaluation

For less intense spills, seek medical evaluation, limp home, and clean cuts with soap before bandaging. Icing tender areas reduces swelling. After a day or two, lingering soreness still warrants seeing a doctor to rule out hidden sprains or hairline fractures that go unnoticed immediately after falls.

If you think that your slip and fall were caused by a property owner’s negligence, you can file a claim for the damages the slip and fall accident has caused you. Let the Porter Law Group guide you through the process of filing a claim. Get in touch with one of our trusted personal injury attorneys now!

Keep Yourself Safe from Slips and Falls During Winter

Sliding across slick surfaces strikes fear into many Syracuse students’ hearts come winter. But staying updated about seasonal hazards helps reduce risks. With watchful treads, helpful tools, and weather awareness, you can stay safe all winter.

If you’ve suffered a slip and fall accident, you need to get in touch with a slip and fall attorney from the Porter Law Group. They can help evaluate your case and determine the claims you can file. Call us at 833-PORTER9 or send us a message through our contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Written By
Eric C. Nordby
Personal Injury Attorney
Eric, with nearly three decades of experience in personal injury litigation, holds a law degree with honors from the University at Buffalo School of Law and a Bachelor's Degree from Cornell University. His extensive career encompasses diverse state and federal cases, resulting in substantial client recoveries, and he actively engages in legal associations while frequently lecturing on legal topics.
Legally Reviewed on December 10, 2023
Michael S. Porter
Personal Injury Attorney
Originally from Upstate New York, Mike built a distinguished legal career after graduating from Harvard University and earning his juris doctor degree from Syracuse University College of Law. He served as a Captain in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, gaining expertise in trial work, and is now a respected trial attorney known for securing multiple million-dollar results for his clients while actively participating in legal organizations across Upstate NY.
This Article Was Professionally Reviewed
This page was Legally Reviewed by Michael S. Porter on December 10, 2023. Our experts verify everything you read to make sure it's up to date. For information on our content creation and review process read our editorial guidelines. If you notice an error or have any questions about our content please contact us.
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