Spring brings warmer temperatures, which means that more people are likely to work and play outdoors. There is often more traffic on the roads, including pedestrians, cyclists, and even animals. Seasonal allergies may come out swinging, and construction projects that may have been delayed by snow can resume. All of these factors can lead to increases in certain types of accidents.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common springtime injuries, what causes them, and what you can do if you’ve been in an accident of any kind.
1. Lawnmower Injuries
As snow melts, landscaping activities can begin again. Professional gardeners and landscapers as well as homeowners may be at risk of suffering lawnmower injuries if objects ricochet off the blades or if a hand or foot comes into contact with the blade. Burns are another potential injury, as certain parts of the lawnmower may become hot during use.
2. Ladder Accidents
DIY property owners and construction workers alike may fall from ladders or roofs during the spring as they catch up on chores, finish overdue projects, or perform maintenance inside or outside a home. Ladder falls can cause serious injuries, including broken bones, head trauma, and back injuries. It is important to always maintain three points of contact with a ladder (such as two feet and one hand or one foot and two hands), to ensure it is safely secured, and to use it according to manufacturer instructions and weight/height limits.
3. Chemical Exposure
Exposure to pesticides or other chemicals can happen in the spring during gardening projects or other home maintenance. It is important to store chemicals where children and pets cannot access them, to follow manufacturer guidelines regarding chemical use, and to try to use chemicals outdoors or in well-ventilated environments.
4. Heat Exhaustion
Spring sunshine and warmer weather can lead to heat exhaustion when temperatures get high enough. Whether you’re working or playing outdoors, you can take a few easy steps to protect yourself from heat-related injuries. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing, take frequent breaks in the heat, drink plenty of water, and give yourself time to get acclimated to the warmer weather.
Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion, which may include:
- Weak, fast pulse
- Muscle cramps
- Feeling faint
- Heavy sweating
5. Pedestrian & Cyclist Accidents
You’re more likely to see pedestrians and cyclists on Pennsylvania’s roads during the spring, particularly later in the season when most of the snow is gone and the sun is out. As a motorist, be sure to watch for pedestrians and bicycle riders, particularly in suburban areas, parking lots, and driveways. If you’re walking or cycling, take care around motorists and never assume that they can see you. As always, observe traffic laws and rights of way to stay safe on the road!
6. Car Accidents Involving Animals
During the spring, you’re probably going to see more animals. That means that the likelihood of encountering one on the road is also increased. Be sure to watch your speed and slow down in areas where animal crossings are a possibility. If you do hit an animal, pull over to the side of the road when it’s safe to do so. Contact the proper authorities (in some areas, it is required by law to report hitting certain types of animals on the road), contact the owner (if it is a pet with identification tags), and call a local vet for help. You should also report the incident to your insurance company.
7. Wet, Slippery Roads
Wet roads are pretty frequent during the rainy spring months in Pennsylvania, but you can decrease your chances of losing traction or being involved in a weather-related accident by taking a few simple steps. Make sure your tires, windshield wipers, and brakes are properly maintained. Decrease your speed on wet roads, use your headlights when it’s raining, and exercise more caution than usual. For more tips and information, check out our blog: Driving in the Rain & Snow: That’s March in Pennsylvania.
8. Slip & Fall Accidents
Roads aren’t the only things that get wet in rainy spring weather. As the snow melts and rain falls, all walking surfaces will see their fair share of water. This means there’s an increased chance of slip and fall accidents, which can happen virtually anywhere. Property owners have an obligation to keep their grounds free of hazards and to put “wet floor” signs on walkways. This even applies to indoor areas where customers or visitors could slip and fall.
9. Playground Accidents
Playgrounds, parks, and trampolines are likely to see more action as spring progresses. As a parent, properly supervising your children is half the battle. The other half is hoping that playground equipment and public parks are properly maintained. Take time to remind your children about playground safety and watch for hazards like defective slides, rocky play areas, unsafe climbing areas, and more.
We’re Here to Help
If you’re looking for legal guidance after a car accident, want insight on who might be accountable for a playground injury, or are interested in learning more about what to do after a slip and fall accident or a work-related injury, our team at Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC is here to help. We’ve been helping the injured in Pennsylvania for the past 100 years, and we are completely committed to finding answers and recovering fair compensation for our clients. To learn more, call (888) 498-3023!