It’s spring in Ontario! After a long winter, it’s time to get out of the house and enjoy everything the province has to offer. As any personal injury lawyer will tell you, part of thoroughly enjoying a new season is being aware of the injury risks it presents. Spring weather may not be as dangerous as winter, but Ontarians should be careful, nonetheless.
“We’re in the middle of a transition from one season to the next,” said Kristan Hoffman, a consultant for Ontario Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS), in a release last year. “We are still getting some winter hazards, starting to see some summer hazards, while managing some unique spring hazards. It’s a unique time of the year.”
Winter, spring, and summer hazards all at once? Sounds like early April. Here are a few things to keep in mind this month and for the rest of the season.
Spring is a transitional season, meaning the weather tends to oscillate between winter cold and summer warmth. The rapidly changing air temperature can cause unpredictable storm events – you might experience snow on Monday, thunderstorms on Wednesday, and clear sunny skies on Friday.
The takeaway: plan ahead. Whether you’re heading out for a weekend hiking trip or leaving for your half-hour commute to work, preparing for inclement weather reduces your risk of injury.
Water, water everywhere
Sticking with the weather theme, spring is ground zero for high-water and flooding events. There are two key contributors to this problem: melting snow and ice, and heavy rains. Drastic temperature increases cause rapid melts that swell rivers and streams. When these events are followed by thunderstorms, rivers can overflow causing significant flooding.
High-water periods can cause a variety of problems, from property damage to personal injuries. Check your weather listings and local news regularly during the spring; both should issue warnings of potential flood conditions.
Spring is a deceptively risky driving season. Sure, road conditions aren’t as bad as during the winter, but ice patches and slippery surfaces are common until late in the season, and flooding or heavy rain can be just as problematic as an Ontario blizzard.
Spring’s high-water events and freeze-thaw cycles are also tough on the roads themselves, causing potholes, cracks, and debris. Be ready for these conditions when you’re on the road.
Slip and fall
Slip and fall injuries are dangerous throughout the year, spring being no exception. As we already mentioned, ice patches and slippery surfaces aren’t exclusive to winter. Wet and muddy conditions are common in stores, public stairways and parking lots during the spring, and can cause serious injuries. Take your time and wear sensible footwear when the weather turns sour this April and May.
Contact a personal injury lawyer
If you or someone you know suffers an injury this spring, contact Will Davidson LLP’s Oakville offices to arrange a free no-obligation consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer.