According to weather and climate predictions, we may be able to look forward to milder temperatures this winter, but experts also warn that we will experience a higher level of precipitation in the Garden State. At Buttafuoco & Associates, we’re looking forward to the snowfall, but our personal injury attorneys in Northern New Jersey warn that you should be prepared for the accompanying dangers.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common winter hazards and a few tips to keep you and your loved ones safe this holiday season.
What the Predictions Say
Sources ranging from Accuweather to the Farmer’s Almanac are all predicting a snowy winter in New Jersey. Many experts agree that the El Nino weather pattern, which results from warm Pacific Ocean temperatures, will have an impact.
While El Nino can cause milder winter weather in the eastern U.S., some experts such as the NY PA NJ Weather Forecasting Company believe El Nino will result in snow, ice, and even rain storms this winter.
According to the Climate Prediction Center (an affiliate of the National Weather Service), winter may be wetter than usual in New Jersey this year, with up to a 50 percent chance of temperatures that are warmer than average. They also say there’s a 40 percent possibility that there will be more snow than usual this year.
The Farmers’ Almanac, an oft-trusted source, agrees that weather will be a mix of snow, rain, and sleet, even through March. Their rival, the Old Farmer’s Almanac, says we should expect more snow than usual, especially at the end of December and January, as well as mid-February, but milder temperatures.
Safety Tips for This Winter
Buttafuoco & Associates has compiled our best safety recommendations that may be relevant this winter below.
Preventing Winter Slip and Falls
According to our slip and fall lawyers serving Northern New Jersey, each winter sees a marked increase in slip and fall cases, and the increased rain and snowfall will certainly be a risk factor. Homeowners and businesses should be especially vigilant, since they are responsible for maintaining a reasonably safe environment for visitors, employees, and customers.
Some of the key tips we have include:
- Keeping sidewalks and other walkways clear of hazards. Shovel snow and slush as soon as possible and use salt to prevent slick conditions. This also includes indoor areas that might receive snow and water tracked in form outside.
- Provide warnings to customers about slippery conditions. Not doing so can be considered a failure to warn.
Winter Driving Safety
Given the higher level of precipitation this year, our Northern New Jersey car accident attorneys are especially concerned about slick surfaces for drivers this winter. Even if temperatures are milder and above freezing, slush from melting snow can be especially slick and there may still be ice patches on bridges or in tunnels where the surface temperature is lower.
- Reduce speed and keep a greater distance between cars, as well as brake gently to avoid skidding.
- Turn on headlights and keep windows clean to improve visibility for yourself and other drivers.
- Avoid driving in severe conditions. Even if you have all-wheel drive, some conditions are just not worth driving in.
Winter Construction Safety
At Buttafuoco & Associates, we have extensive experience representing construction accident victims and understand liability law on job sites. Given the anticipated increased precipitation, our Northern New Jersey construction accident lawyers have safety concerns around slick surfaces.
- Prevent slip and falls by clearing areas of snow and slush and consistently salt surfaces.
- You can also use high-friction materials and footwear to reduce these risks.
- Include proper drainage in working areas that might become wet.
- Use guardrails and personal safety equipment when working at height.
- Operate vehicles with extra care. Slick surfaces and limited visibility can lead to an increased risk of vehicle accidents on job sites.
Also, even though temperatures are predicted to be milder, be vigilant about cold temperatures. Construction injuries are often related to cold exposure; furthermore, carbon-monoxide poisoning from working in enclosed areas is an increased danger in winter as well.
When to Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Even if you follow all the safety precautions, not all winter weather accidents are preventable, and many accidents can lead to severe injuries. Buttafuoco & Associates has the experience to handle slip and falls, construction accidents, and winter driving accidents; we’ll work hard to help you get the compensation you need and deserve.