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Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyers > Blog > Slip & Fall > Clutter and Debris Can Increase Fall Risks

Clutter and Debris Can Increase Fall Risks

Slip_ExtensionCord

Falls are one of the leading causes of serious injury in the U.S. and while everything from slippery floors to poor lighting can and do contribute to these falls, a surprising number are caused by problems as simple as debris and clutter in walkways and other high traffic areas. This can be especially frustrating for accident victims, as the issue is so preventable.

The Dangers of Clutter and Debris in High Traffic Areas 

Cluttered and debris-strewn areas, especially walkways, can quickly become a fall risk, as they significantly increase the chances of slipping or tripping and losing one’s balance. This problem is especially serious in high traffic areas, like stairwells, entrance ways, and hallways, where visitors have no other route options and may not be paying close attention to where they place their feet. Besides being a physical obstruction, clutter and debris can also create a visual distraction, making it harder for a person to navigate a place safely. Generally, the more items there are, the harder it is for the eye to identify potential hazards. Of course, this risk is even higher for those with vision impairments or contrast sensitivity. Examples of clutter and debris that can increase the chances of a fall include:

  • Extension cords;
  • Loose paper or trash;
  • Boxes;
  • Spills and leaks; and
  • Loose rugs and mats.

Unlike architectural problems, like sloping or uneven floors, these kinds of problems are relatively simple to repair, requiring only careful inspections and daily maintenance. Unfortunately, many property owners fail to take even these basic precautionary measures, leaving their visitors at risk of serious injury in the event of a fall.

Fall Risks for Vulnerable Visitors 

A cluttered walkway is dangerous for anyone, but poses an especially high risk to those with increased fall risks. This includes individuals with physical, cognitive, and sensory issues, such as problems with:

  • Balance;
  • Muscle strength; and
  • Visual acuity.

Those with disabilities, cognitive impairments, or chronic health conditions may also have a harder time avoiding these fall risks, which is why it’s so important for property owners to take steps towards making their premises safe for all visitors. This includes inspecting their property regularly and ensuring that walkways and other areas where people visit are free of clutter and debris, as well as establishing cleaning protocols, providing proper lighting, and keeping an eye out for potential hazards in high traffic areas. Signage warning visitors of potential hazards can also go a long way towards preventing slip and fall accidents.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today 

Get in touch with an experienced and compassionate Savannah slip and fall lawyer by calling 404-593-0020 and setting up a free consultation with a member of our legal team. At Shiver Hamilton Campbell, our team of dedicated attorneys and support staff are only too aware of the physical, emotional, and financial toll that these kinds of accidents can take on victims and their families. We are here to help. Call or contact us online to get started on your case today.

Sources: 

cdc.gov/falls/facts.html#:

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK560761/

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