In Pennsylvania, property owners owe visitors, customers and other members of the public the duty to keep their sidewalks, floors and grounds reasonably clear of ice and snow. Of course, most of us have at least one neighbor who seems to forget every winter, leaving a thick layer of ice that lasts days or weeks.
Since nobody wants to get hurt slipping and falling, here are some tips for staying safe while walking outside this winter, as provided by the University of Illinois:
- Before heading out, make sure you are wearing the right clothes. Wear shoes or boots with soles that provide traction, and a bulky coat that will keep you warm and provide cushioning in case you fall.
- Assume that every dark and wet-looking spot on pavement is slippery. Walk cautiously. Bend over slightly, take short steps or shuffle, and keep your center of balance over your feet. Keep your hands out of your pockets to improve your balance. Stop every so often to break your momentum.
These tips can reduce your chances of a slip-and-fall incident, but property owners cannot simply expect everyone to be extra careful when talking past. They are responsible for keeping their property reasonably safe, and failure to do so makes them liable for any resulting injuries.