Michigan winters are harsh because of cold weather, snow and ice. While many people may focus heavily on how this impacts travel, they should also consider how pedestrians are affected.
Pedestrians should always have suitable spaces for walking on sidewalks and in parking lots. This means the onus is on property owners to ensure these walkways are sufficiently cleared of snow and ice throughout the winter.
1: Regular safety protocols are important
Staying safe through the winter starts with having proper gear. Shoes should be non-slip and fit well so the person walking can remain safe. Snow boots are an example of a suitable footwear choice. Pedestrians should always stay on established walkways and within crosswalks. They should always remain vigilant about watching their surroundings.
2: Walkways should be cleared
Property owners must have walkways shoveled or plowed. In some cases, salting these spaces might be necessary. Ensuring stairs and slopes are cleared is especially important to help keep pedestrians safe. They should also check handrails to be sure they’re in good condition.
3: Catastrophic injuries are possible
A person who slips on the ice or snow can fall, which may lead to catastrophic injuries. Brain and spinal cord injuries, as well as broken bones are all possible. This can require considerable medical care, which can be costly.
Ultimately, the individual who suffers an injury when they fall on a slippery walkway that hasn’t been cleared of snow and ice may seek compensation for the financial damages. Michigan law limits how long victims must act, so taking swift action is critical.