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Are you ready for Winter?

With winter quickly approaching, are you ready for the cold, harshness that this wonderful country has to offer? The personal injury lawyers at Murray Ralston want to make sure you are ready for winter and don’t get caught unprepared.

We hope this article will arm you with some necessary safety measures so you can protect yourself, your family and others and avoid injury and possibly legal action.

Are you Ready for Winter?

Everyone in Ontario from Barrie to North Bay knows that as the mercury dips below freezing, sidewalks and parking lots can become skating rinks. This is especially common in the early winter months when daytime heating causes snow to melt and then refreeze into a sheet of ice at night. Combine this with a fresh layer of the fluffy white stuff and you might find yourself laying on your back in your driveway after a slipping accident you didn’t even see coming. So how can you prevent this from happening? We have put together a 'Get Ready for Winter' checklist to help keep you and visitors to your home safe.

Get Ready for Winter
  1. Keep a good supply of salt or de-icing fluid handy. Apply it to your property as soon as you notice the presence of ice. Sand may also be necessary to prevent slipping;
  2. If you are expecting company, mail delivery, couriers, or other visitors ensure that you inspect the paths to your door and driveway. Apply sand and salt, if necessary, in advance of the arrival of your guests;
  3. Watch for snow and ice build-up on your roof or at the eaves. It has the potential to fall into the path of persons exiting and entering your home. Snow and ice falling on visitors (or yourself) has the potential to cause serious injury;
  4. Wear shoes or boots with good tread to help prevent slipping. Running shoes are a poor alternative to a good winter boot;
  5. In the evening, ensure outdoor lighting is switched on and properly lights pathways and the driveway. Many slip and fall injuries occur on the driveway, so ensure your driveway is properly salted and sanded;
  6. Walk with care when outdoors if the temperatures have dipped below 0 degrees. If it looks slippery, it probably is. Take a different route to avoid icy areas;
  7. Keep your cell phone in your pocket and focus on where you are walking;
  8. Wear clothing that will keep you warm in the cold;
Motorists need to take special precautions on snowy, slushy, cold days:
  1. Leave yourself more time to get ready and to get to your destination;
  2. If you do not have winter tires on your car, they might be an investment that could save your life;
  3. Drive for the weather and road conditions. Slow down and give your vehicle lots of time and distance to stop. It’s better to be safe than sorry;
  4. Be extra vigilant while driving through school zones and crosswalks;
  5. Carry in your vehicle an emergency kit including a candle and matches, blanket, and protein bar along with the usual first aid items;
  6. Listen to road and weather reports and heed warnings of poor conditions.

We hope these suggestions will help to keep you and your visitors safe, warm, and lawsuit free this winter.

* The information above is not intended to be legal advice. Each situation is different and the information provided above may not provide you with all law applicable to your facts. To ensure you are properly protected under the law applicable to your facts, please contact Murray Ralston Law for a free consultation.