Although drivers may have to contend with winter weather while driving at high speeds and while operating thousands of pounds of metal, Chicago winters can be dangerous for pedestrians too. Not only do you have to worry about those drivers and how well they can control their vehicles around you, but you also need to keep an eye on sidewalk conditions and watch out for slippery slush and ice. Slip and fall injuries can be quite serious, and walking carefully can help you get through the holidays in one piece.
Ice on sidewalks is one of the most treacherous things you can encounter during a Chicago winter. If store and home owners do not properly take care of their sidewalks, you may easily encounter layers of slush, snow, and ice all together. This makes walking quite dangerous so make sure you take every precaution possible. Give yourself plenty of time to walk from one place to another, so that you can slow down on slippery surfaces as needed. Watch for fresh snowfall that might cover existing ice, which can make conditions even more dangerous.
Not only is ice slippery, but freezing snow and slush can form strange shapes that make for very uneven terrain. Be careful when walking in areas with heavy footprints that have been frozen, since you can easily twist an ankle or slip to the side off the sidewalk. Areas that are in shadow are more likely to remain icy even on those warmer days that tend to melt away a lot of snow and ice, so consider which side of a street receives more sun and choose your path accordingly.
When entering and leaving stores, be careful of entryways that might have snow and water tracked in on people's shoes and boots. These areas can become very slippery, and it is easy to let your guard down once inside a business or home. Stomp or knock off excess snow from your shoes before entering a business or house, to help reduce the amount of water tracked inside.
You should also be aware of other pedestrians and vehicles while you are walking. Make sure to give other people space to pass on sidewalks, and be aware of other pedestrians. When crossing streets, always use crosswalks and watch out for piles of snow and ice along the curb next to a sidewalk. Watch for drivers who might not have good control over their vehicles and use caution before leaving a sidewalk.
If you or someone you love has been injured while exploring the sidewalks of Chicago, then call the pedestrian accident attorneys at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC at (312) 644-0444 today. Tell us about your case and we can discuss your options.