Though it may be hard to tell in Florida’s still-sweltering afternoon heat, we are well into the fall season. From Halloween decorations to pumpkin-flavored treats, there is quite a lot to enjoy about this season of change. With the fanfare and fun, however, you should also keep safety in mind. Though heat stroke and water sports injuries may now be lesser considerations, they are replaced with a new list of fall safety tips that could keep you and your loved ones out of the letting safety slip this fall.
Fall Safety Tips to Follow
Night Comes Quickly
As mentioned above, we may not be enjoying fall-like weather just yet, but one telltale sign of the season change is the waning amount of daylight we seem to get with each passing day. This is surely marked as a negative for those of us who enjoy a few hours of sunshine to get in some outdoor exercise or leisure time after work. More importantly, this decrease in daylight means an increase in nighttime driving. Though common for many of us, some drivers with diminished eyesight or an aversion to night driving may be at greater risk for accidents during the fall season.
Also, if you have been holding off on getting your headlight repaired, now is the time. Besides the risk of a possible ticket, two working headlights can be the difference between seeing a pedestrian, stopped vehicle or obstruction in the roadway and getting into a potentially deadly accident. It is not hyperbole to call headlight lifesavers when the sun goes down. The same can be said for cyclists, who should always ride with reflective gear and a working headlight during dusk and night hours.
The Sun is Still Out
There is a misconception that, since the summer is over, there is no need for protection from the sun. This is absolutely, positively incorrect and can lead to long-term, irreversible skin damage if you are not careful. If you will be spending prolonged periods of time in the sun, always apply sunscreen at SPF 30 or higher that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Do not forget to apply on especially sensitive areas, such as your ears, the back of your neck and your face. There are even high-quality SPF-rated lip balms available to keep your lips protected as well. All of this is especially important when many of us are still enjoying short-sleeve shirts, shorts and flip flops.
When the Leaves Fall
Though palm trees, unfortunately, do not turn a radiant red or orange like a maple tree would, some of us still have trees that do change and inevitably fall (or vacation with those who do). If you are charged with breaking out the trusty rake or leaf blower there are a few fall safety tips you should absolutely consider before getting to work.
Especially for inexperienced leaf wranglers, many underestimate the weight and unwieldiness of a bagful of leaves. Instead of trying to collect and dispose of all leaves in one attempt, break your mounds into smaller, more manageable piles. With loads that are easier to handle, your risk for back injury is significantly decreased. Also, remember the tried and true advice of always lifting with your legs, not your back.
When raking, be sure to keep good posture and take breaks when necessary. Once you have moved on to utilizing the leaf blower, do not forget to wear eyewear in order to prevent serious eye injury caused by flying pebbles, sand, dirt and leaves themselves.
One final risk that comes with fallen leaves is their slippery nature. Though a dry leaf may seem rather innocuous at first glance, a pile of them can act as a banana-peel-like surface for people and cars alike. When walking or driving over dead leaves, please always use caution.
Dress for the Temps
When the air inevitably chills, it is important to dress for the change. Fall is known as a transitional season, and for that reason (especially in Florida), it can be a bit hard to dress for. Mornings and nights may be brisk, while afternoons may reach near summer temperatures. Knowing this, it is important to bring a sweater with you, even if you end up not needing it. Fall is also flu season, meaning you need to either get the flu shot or keep your immune system as protected as possible by keeping warm.
These fall safety tips can help keep you and your loved ones from everything from car accidents to a bad case of the sniffles all season long. Though this advice may specifically reference risks faced in the fall month, tips like wearing sunscreen when enjoying some time in the great outdoors and keeping your car safely operational can be applied throughout the year.
If you are injured due to someone’s negligence during the fall season, whether it’s a slip and fall caused by tools left in a walkway or a car accident caused by a car with faulty headlights, our attorneys are here to help.