Winter weather is here again. And whether you can’t wait to get outside and build a snowman or you prefer to stay warm inside, the fact is that in the coming months, we will have to take extra precautions to protect ourselves and others.
Below are four common winter hazards that you should be aware of and tips for avoiding them.
- Slippery, wet roads: Virginians are no strangers to slippery road conditions. During the winter, sleet and freezing rain often make our roads treacherous. People who drive too fast or fail to consider the potential for black ice are putting themselves and others in danger. To avoid accidents on the road, motorists should slow down, give other vehicles space and make sure their vehicle’s tires and brakes are in working order.
- Falling ice: Icicles can be pretty, but they can also cause catastrophic damage if they should fall. If you are entering someone else’s property, take a second to look up and check for potential ice dams and heavy icicles. Property owners should address these by knocking them down safely or utilizing an ice melt product.
- Snow accumulation: Snow can accumulate on things like cars and trees, and it can come off suddenly when the wind hits it, or it becomes dislodged. Always clear your vehicle of snow before you drive, including the snow on the roof. If you are on the road, give vehicles covered with snow more space to prevent their hazard from becoming your hazard. If you are outside, be wary of standing under trees covered with several inches of snow.
- Dangerous walkways: If you own a home or run a business, you have a responsibility to keep walkways clear. During the winter, this duty often means shoveling, clearing ice, putting up wet floor signage and installing carpets at entryways. Further, it can be wise to check the lighting and handrails in these spaces to ensure they are in working order.
When people take these precautions seriously, they can minimize the risk of a catastrophic accident. Those who fail to do this could be responsible for any damages resulting from this negligence.