With winter storms blanketing Illinois in snow and ice, slip and fall accidents are on the rise. Unfortunately, walking on slick surfaces like ice coated sidewalks and parking lots can result in traumatic, and sometimes life altering injuries. In an effort to prevent cold-weather slip and fall accidents, manufacturers are developing new safety products, including detachable cleats which slip over shoes, to combat winter safety concerns.
When the weather gets cold and the ground gets icy, accidents increase and the offices of slip and fall attorneys become more crowded. Slip and fall accidents are incredibly common, accounting for over 1 million emergency room visits in the United States, annually. Winter boots protect feet from snow, but their rubber tread is not particularly effective against slippery ice. Recently, Consumer Reports tested several devices that slip over shoes to prevent slip and fall accidents.
The price range for detachable cleats range from around $8.00 to the hundreds of dollars, with plenty of alternatives in-between. The Consumer Reports test focused on several brands ranging from $8.00 to $100.00. Devices were tested in an area resembling a homemade skating rink, on both flat surfaces and at various angles.
The detachable cleats were tested while walking and running. It was determined that each device tested improved traction on icy surfaces, but there were notable variations in performance levels. The best-performing devices fell somewhere in the middle of the price range, with some of the less expensive devices providing better results than higher-priced alternatives. The most effective brand sells for around $70.00 on Amazon.com.
Manufacturers continue to work toward the development of new winter safety products to prevent dangerous slip and fall accidents. More and more companies are producing shoes that do not rely on the smooth, rubber soles most closely associated with slipping. In the coming years, shoe manufacturers hope to create a formal traction rating system for winter footwear.
In the meantime, experts suggest employing winter weather safety tips, such as wearing sunglasses to prevent glare and wearing bulky coats, which can shield from falls. Picking the right footwear is also extremely important and for those who chose not to purchase detachable cleats, opting for shoes with soles made from non-slip rubber or neoprene with grooved soles are the best pick.