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Fall is So Gorgeous….and Slippery

October 8, 2015

Slippery Road with Leaves

Wet Leaves Cause Car Accidents and Slip and Falls

When we in Pennsylvania and New Jersey think of fall, we tend to think of beautiful weather and gorgeous leaves changing colors. What we don’t think about is the fact that this time of year can actually be quite dangerous for the unwary.  That danger is caused when leaves pile up, it rains, and we end up with a mess on our roads and sidewalks. Unfortunately, these gorgeous leaves frequently cause car crashes for those who are driving too fast or falls when businesses fail to clean up properly.

Driving on Wet Leaves

Road slippery from leaves

A leaf covered, winding road can be especially dangerous for careless drivers.

Most people don’t realize that driving on wet leaves can be just as dangerous as driving on black ice. Due to the fact that people are unaware of the dangers, the fall is actually a busy time for car crashes. If you drive too quickly, you can easily have difficulty stopping in time, causing you to rear-end another car or simply lose control. Just as with ice, roads covered with wet leaves cause problems with accelerating around corners and speeding up when trying to merge on busy roads. In addition, leaves can stick to the road, hiding dangerous items such as deep potholes or other road defects. Think about driving on leaves the same way you view driving on ice. Drive smoothly, don’t jerk your wheel, brake suddenly, or accelerate quickly. If you begin to skid, turn into the skid and lightly accelerate. This helps you regain control of your car. Most importantly, give yourself proper distance between you and the car in front of you so you can stop before you have an accident. The fall is a good time to make sure your car is maintained properly. Check your brakes, and, make sure your tires still have the appropriate tread and are inflated properly.

Risk of Slipping and Falling on Wet Leaves

Wet leaves on sidewalks are slippery

Dry leaves can hide defects on sidewalks that can cause people to trip. Wet leaves can make sidewalks and parking lot just as slippery as ice.

As with ice, it is easy to fall when the ground is damp and covered with leaves. People are normally aware of the risk with ice, and so property owners are more likely to clear their parking lots and sidewalks. Pedestrians are more likely to be careful on snowy days. But, when it comes to leaves, people tend to walk just as if the ground is clear and property owners may fail to keep their property clean.

As a pedestrian, be careful when the ground is wet, and even more so when it is covered with slippery leaves. Dry leaves can hide dangerous defects in sidewalks, so be careful to look where you are going. In addition, be sure you wear shoes with a good tread, appropriate for walking. Though it can be fun to jump into leaf piles, avoid them unless you are certain you know what is inside. You could end up slipping and sliding on decomposing leaves that have been sitting on the ground for a while. Make sure you keep the bottoms of your shoes clean of leaves, and wipe your shoes carefully when you go inside. It is easy for leaves to stick to your shoes, creating a surface that is extremely slippery when you try to walk.

Property owners need to take care of the leaves that pile up on their parking lots and sidewalks. They should also be sure to provide safety features inside the business, such as appropriate mats and wet floor signs. If, as a property owner, you fail to obey the requirements about keeping your property safe, you could easily be found liable if someone falls and injures himself due to the fact you didn’t maintain keep your space safe for your customers, tenants or guests.

Enjoy the Gorgeous Weather – But Stay Safe!

We are fortunate to enjoy this beautiful time of year, but please, do so safely. Drive carefully, walk carefully, and make sure you maintain your cars and your property so those who share the road and sidewalks are able to enjoy an injury free season. If you find yourself hurt due to someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to contact Lowenthal & Abrams. We understand how injuries due to car accidents and slip and falls can disrupt your life. We handle claims in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

 

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