Winter is fast approaching. Every Wisconsinite knows what that means: We are in store for months of cold temperatures and snowy conditions.
Milwaukee actually faces some of the harshest winter weather of any major city in the country. The Wisconsin State Climate Office reports that the city receives more than 52 inches of snow in the average year.
Lake effect snow contributes to the high snowfall amount. It is also just bitterly cold in Milwaukee: The average high temperature in January is below 30 degrees.
Beyond being a hassle, winter weather creates some very dangerous conditions. These conditions lead to many serious injuries.
Our legal team wants to help eliminate winter weather injuries. We have put together a brief winter safety guide to help keep you and your family safe this season.
If you are going to be outdoors during cold weather, you need to have the proper clothing. Do not try to be “tough.” Very cold weather is a serious risk to any person. Frostbite and hypothermia can set in far more quickly than most people realize. This is especially true for those of us who ride motorcycles in the winter. Our best tip for riding a motorcycle in the winter is to bundle up and stay alert.
For example, when it is 10 degrees outside (a common temperature in Wisconsin) and there is even a slight breeze, frostbite can occur on exposed skin in as little as 25 minutes. Colder temperatures and higher wind speeds only increase the frostbite risk.
The bottom line is that you need to wear the proper winter attire when going outside in Milwaukee during the coming months. Some winter gear that you should obtain includes:
Winter weather creates a major highway safety hazard. The Federal Highway Administration reports that snowy and icy road conditions contribute to more than 540,000 car accidents around the country each year.
Of course, much of the country gets little or no winter weather precipitation. This means that these winter weather crashes are largely confined to northern states like Wisconsin.
Drivers in Milwaukee must be incredibly cautious while operating a vehicle in difficult weather conditions. Also, keep in mind that, under Wisconsin law, all drivers have a legal duty to adjust their driving to the present conditions of the road.
You must always operate your vehicle safely. If winter weather makes it impossible to do so, please pull your car over to the side of the road.
In the unfortunate event that you have been injured in a winter weather accident, you should contact an experienced Milwaukee car accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
The National Floor Safety Institute reports that untreated icy walking surfaces are one of the leading causes of serious slip and fall accidents.
You always need to watch out for snow and ice whenever walking outside during the winter months. Sometimes, slick spots can be very difficult to spot. Learn more about how to drive on icy and slippery roads.
In Wisconsin, property owners have a legal responsibility to ensure that their premises are kept in reasonably safe condition. This responsibility applies to outdoor walking surfaces as well.
Property owners are not expected to remove naturally occurring elements like snow and ice the very second they occur. With that said, they must take proactive steps to reduce the safety risks caused by slick outdoor walking surfaces as soon as it is reasonably possible to do so.
If a business or property owner fails to treat an icy walking surface, and an injury occurs as a result of a slip and fall on snow or ice, the owner may be held liable for any damages.
You will want to be prepared for any emergency that life may throw at you, especially during the winter months. It is imperative that you have a proper winter emergency preparedness kit in your home and in your automobile. Your kits should include most or all of the following items:
Winter Emergency Kit for Your Home
Winter Emergency Kit for Your Car
You should also make sure your car is ready for the road before driving in the winter. This means that your vehicle must receive regular inspections.
You must also check to see that all of your fluid levels are well stocked. It is a best safety practice to always drive with a full tank of gas during the winter months.
Finally, it is important to keep a close watch on the most vulnerable members of your family and wider circle. If you have young children, elderly relatives or friends that rely on your support, you need to protect their safety in the winter months.
For example, you should be very cautious when letting young children play in cold weather. Of course snow is a lot of fun, but you must keep them bundled up and put limits on their exposure to bitterly cold weather.
Additionally, you should make sure to check on your elderly loved ones on a regular basis. If a heavy Wisconsin snowstorm rolls through, do not let your fragile elderly parent or grandparent shovel it. No matter how stubborn they are, help to stop them from taking unnecessary risks. Enjoy the Wisconsin winter!
At Gruber Law Offices, LLC, our personal injury attorneys strive to help accident victims recover full and fair compensation. If you suffer an injury this winter that you believe was caused by another person’s negligence, please contact our team to set up a free review of your claim. Our firm represents victims in Milwaukee and surrounding communities in Wisconsin.
Disclaimer: This post provides general information but is not legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice.