Start your free consultation

Black Ice Safety For Pedestrians

Posted on 12/19/22 by admin in Pedestrian Accidents,Premises Liability

Wintery weather has come to the DMV in force. Temperatures are plunging and snow, sleet, and freezing rain cannot be fair behind. The season’s first snows are always an exciting occasion. But this excitement can quickly give way to treacherous conditions for pedestrians. Wintry weather means slippery sidewalks, and Malloy Law is here to help you navigate them. Today we’ll be reviewing black ice safety, to help you stay warm, stay healthy, and stay safe.

black ice safety walking

What is Black Ice?

Black ice is a colloquial term for ice freezing atop pavement in such a way that it appears clear. This often occurs after an initial clearing of snow or sleet from the surface, which is then left unattended and allowed to melt off and re-freeze. This may also occur due to insufficient salting of a surface, leading to a partial melt-down and leaving the surface vulnerable to later freezing. Another possible cause is standing snow on a roof or in a gutter melting off and dripping down to freeze over on sidewalks.

Black Ice Safety Tips

black ice injury

Whatever the cause, black ice can be a major hazard for unsuspecting pedestrians. Its relative invisibility can send innocents slipping and falling in unpredictable and often dangerous ways. Luckily there are steps that can be taken to significantly mitigate these risks. We here at Malloy Law recommend

  • Wearing Appropriate Footwear – Leather or smooth rubber soles will struggle for traction on icy surfaces, making falls and their resulting injuries far more likely. Shoes or boots with seasonally appropriate treads will help you stay upright and on the move.
  • Walking with Safety in Mind – When forced to pass over ice, pedestrians can deploy the so-called “penguin walk.” Take small steps. Keep your eyes ahead of you and on the terrain you’re navigating. Make sure to have your hands out of your pockets for balance. Keeping your hands in your pockets will increase the possibility of broken bones in the event of a fall.
  • Avoid Ice When Possible – This may seem obvious but pedestrians should take pains to avoid icy patches unless strictly necessary. Crossing the street to avoid ice may be an inconvenience but a fall may cause far longer-lasting damage.

Black Ice Safety For Property Owners

slip and fall on black ice

If you are a property owner responsible for the maintenance of a public sidewalk, it is of the utmost importance that you take steps to make that sidewalk safe for traversal by any passing pedestrians as soon as possible after winter weather. This includes shoveling snow, salting the sidewalk to keep it from icing over, and informing people of the potential danger, ideally with an eye-catching and easily-readable sign.

In the event that salt or other de-icing agents are unavailable, there are still steps that can be taken. Gravel can be spread over icy surfaces to improve traction. Ice can also be smashed with a spade, shovel, or other metal tool. This may or may not make the surface safer for pedestrians, but it will absolutely make it more visible, thus mitigating one of the primary dangers inherent to black ice.

How Malloy Law Can Help

black ice slip and fall injury

If you have suffered a slip and fall injury on black ice, you may be understandably overwhelmed. You may be suffering stress from medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You may be subject to an extended absence from the workplace. An agonizing rehab may also be in your future. You shouldn’t have to face this alone, and you don’t have to. The attorneys at Malloy Law Offices are the DMV’s personal injury specialists. Our experienced and diverse team knows the ins and outs of slip and fall cases and can file suit on your behalf. Our team will fight for the compensation you are entitled to while you focus on recovering from your injury. Don’t wait to seek justice. Contact Malloy Law today for your free consultation.