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Slip-and-fall accidents during milder Minnesota winters

On Behalf of Bennerotte & Associates, P.A.

Feb 14, 2024

Serious Personal Injury

Winter in Minnesota is renowned for its harsh conditions, with freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall that create treacherous situations for pedestrians. Yet, the recent trend of milder winters might lull residents into a false sense of security.

Despite the decrease in snowfall, the risk of slip-and-fall accidents remains significant, especially when rain or melted precipitation freezes overnight. Therefore, if you’re a Minnesota resident, you should be cautious of the hazards of winter walking and keep tips in mind to mitigate the risk of slip-and-fall accidents this winter and during winters to come.

What are the slip-and-fall risks during winter?

The state’s winter weather often involves fluctuating temperatures, leading to a cycle of melting and freezing. During the day, snow and ice may melt under the sun or due to rising temperatures. However, as the temperatures drop overnight, the melted precipitation refreezes, forming invisible ice patches on sidewalks, driveways and roads. These icy surfaces pose a serious threat to pedestrians, increasing the likelihood of slip-and-fall accidents.

Another treacherous component of winter walking is black ice, a thin layer of transparent ice that forms on surfaces. Black ice is notoriously difficult to detect due to how it blends seamlessly with the pavement, making it challenging to anticipate and avoid. Even if you’re naturally cautious, you can easily slip and fall on black ice. This can lead to injuries ranging from minor bruises to severe fractures.

Tips for safe winter walking

As a state resident, you should invest in sturdy winter boots with good traction to help stabilize and grip slippery surfaces. Look for boots with a non-slip sole and deep treads designed to prevent slipping on ice and snow. Additionally, consider using ice cleats or traction aids for added grip in icy conditions.

You could also adjust your walking style to accommodate the slippery conditions. Take slow, deliberate steps and avoid sudden movements or changes in direction. Keep your hands out of your pockets to maintain balance and use handrails whenever available for added support.

Be vigilant and watchful for potential hazards while walking outdoors. Pay attention to changes in surface texture and color that may indicate the presence of ice or slippery spots. Scan your surroundings and plan your route to avoid areas with known risks, such as shaded sidewalks or areas prone to pooling water.

While Minnesota may experience milder winters in recent years, the risk of slip-and-fall accidents remains present. By understanding the risks and implementing proactive safety measures, you can more confidently navigate winter walking and reduce the likelihood of slip-and-fall accidents at the same time.