Winter Weather Hazards

Cars on Winter Road

There’s a lot to love about winter. From football season to winter fashion, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. But it’s also easy to understand why the coldest months of the year present several safety risks. By knowing these risks, we can equip ourselves to avoid injuries associated with winter.

Below, you’ll see a few safety tips that might help you avoid winter-related injuries. But first, let’s look at some of the most common hazards.

  • Vehicle-Related Dangers – Ice and snow make driving surfaces dangerous. In South Carolina, we don’t face these icy conditions very often, which means that when winter weather strikes, we should be extra cautious.
  • Slick Walkways – Just like roadways, slick sidewalks and porches can lead to serious accidents. Fall-related injuries are a major concern for elderly people, so if you know someone who might be more prone to falling, help them clear their walkways to avoid injuries.
  • Cold-Related Health Complications – The human body does not handle cold weather particularly well. Being in the cold for short periods can cause hypothermia and frostbite. It can also be taxing on our cardiovascular system. Heart attacks increase by roughly 31 percent in the coldest months of the year.
  • Heating-Related Dangers – The methods we use to heat our homes also present certain risks. Home fires are obviously a danger if left unattended, but other heating devices, such as space heaters, should be monitored and used properly to avoid fire risks.

Remember These Tips

Snow, ice, and cold weather are an ever-present risk during the winter. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind.

  • If possible, don’t drive during inclement weather, but if you must, see these winter driving tips.
  • Be careful about the time of day you drive. Those who are under the influence are often on the roads in greater numbers during the early morning hours of Saturday and Sunday.
  • Be cautious on snowy or icy walkways, and be sure to clear your own sidewalks. Use rock salt or a substitute to cut down on slipperiness.
  • It’s wise to know common heart attack symptoms. Don’t be afraid to stay indoors if you don’t feel right—get help fast. By all means, don’t shovel snow if you have a cardiac issue or related health condition.
  • Never leave a fire or heater unattended. Use space heaters in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure you turn it off while you sleep.

Don’t Forget to Keep Your Pets Warm and Safe in the Winter Months

No winter safety guide should omit the dangers this season presents to our pets. Pets are vulnerable to many of the same dangers as humans. Don’t leave your pets outside for long periods or shave your pet’s coat during the winter months. Chemicals used on our roadways can be hazardous for animals, so clean your dog or cat’s paws once they come in from a walk. Keep your pets away from antifreeze, which is lethal when ingested.

At the Louthian Law Firm, we wish you the happiest and healthiest winter season!