What's the biggest danger you face on a daily basis?
A lot of people probably fear a car accident on their way to or from work every day. While it's true that commutes can be difficult and car accidents are deadly, the biggest threat to your health may simply come from walking across the floor. If you slip and fall, the damage to your body could be very serious.
Here are some of the most startling facts about falls:
- Falls cause consumers and insurance companies over $50 billion per year.
- Falls are behind more than 800,000 hospitalizations every year.
- Over 95% of broken hips -- which can limit someone's mobility forever -- are caused by falls.
- Falls -- not car accidents or sports injuries -- are the single biggest cause of traumatic brain injuries.
While older people are particularly vulnerable to injuries from falls, nobody is immune from them. A fall can leave a victim of any age with broken bones, head injuries, spinal damage and more.
What can you do to protect yourself from a slip and fall? Take stock of potential risks and eliminate as many as possible. For example:
- Safeguard your health. Vitamin D deficiencies, asthma, blood pressure problems and diabetes are all possible contributors to a fall. If you're having any problems with these conditions or general dizziness, see a doctor.
- Watch your medications. Some medications, including over-the-counter drugs, can lead to dizziness or fatigue. Be cautious about doing a lot of walking around when you aren't clear-headed.
- Dress for the weather. Rain, snow and ice can all contribute to a slip and fall. Make sure that you check the weather and put on appropriate footwear with good treads before you venture outside.
- Look for environmental hazards. Broken pavement, potholes, uneven curbs, torn carpets and missing handrails on steps are all observable dangers. Stay aware of your surroundings when you're walking so that you can avoid them.
Even with your best efforts, however, you may still end up in a slip and fall accident due to someone else's negligence. If that happens, it's usually wise to consider all your legal options for seeking compensation to help during your recovery.