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Frozen Lake Safety Tips

frozen-lake-accidentsA frozen lake can be a great outdoor skating or hockey rink, snowmobiling surface, ice fishing spot or just a beautiful place for a walk. It is really important to understand, however, that there is no way to know for sure that the lake is frozen enough all the way around. A snow dusting on top of the ice can add to the illusion that the lake has frozen deeply. Most people evaluate the safety of frozen ice by gauging ice thickness, the daily temperature, water depth under the ice, and snow cover. The safety of frozen ice is also dependant on water depth under the ice, the size of the water and water chemistry, currents, and distribution of the load on the ice.

Frozen Lake Safety Tips

  • Avoid traveling on a frozen lake early or late in the season as the ice is more likely to be thin.
  • Drive or ride slowly so that you don’t get “ahead of your headlights” and fall through a hole before you even see it.
  • Never travel on a frozen lake in the dark, in a snow storm, or while you are impaired as you are more likely to miss an open spot on the lake or crash into an obstacle.
  • Do not walk out onto a frozen lake unless there is at least four inches of clear, solid ice; this will provide a margin of safety in case the ice is slightly thinner in other parts.
  • Do not ride a snowmobile or ATV onto a frozen lake unless there are at least five inches of clear, solid ice.
  • Do not ride a car or light truck onto a frozen lake unless there are at least 8-12 inches of clear, solid ice. Also, do not linger in one spot as it weakens the ice; do not park near cracks, and watch out for pressure ridges or ice heaves. It is really not advisable to ride in a vehicle on a frozen lake due to its weight.
  • Always go out on the ice with a buddy and let others know where you will be in case of an accident.
  • Leave a safe distance between you and your buddy while walking out onto the ice. This can help to avoid ice cracking under the weight of two people and also allows for your buddy to help you if you fall through the ice.
  • Contact a local resort or bait shop for their assessment of the safety of the frozen lake and areas to avoid.
  • Wear a life vest while walking or riding on a frozen lake; it can help you float if you fall through the ice and provide insulation from the cold. Exception: do not wear a life vest if you are inside an enclosed vehicle as they can make escape from the vehicle more difficult.
  • Carry useful tools with you such as homemade ice picks or a pair of wooden handled screwdrivers tied together with a few yards of strong cord that can be used to pull yourself up and onto the ice if you fall in. (The wood handles will make the screwdrivers float).

If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. today for a FREE consultation! You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!

Winter Sport Accidents Kill 40 Annually

winter-sport-accidentsWinter sports are a huge draw in the cold regions of North America. Every year, however, winter sport accidents cause the death of over 40 people on the slopes and injure thousands more. The 2011/2012 winter season saw 54 skier/snowboarder fatalities out of 51 million participants but the average annual fatality rate is 41.5. The rate of snow winter sport injuries is 2 to 3 per 1,000 participants, much higher than for other sports.

The most typical winter sport accidents cause injuries to the knees, head, shoulders, wrists, and lower legs. The International Ski Foundation has recommended the use of helmets on ski slopes since 2006, but their use remains voluntary. Thankfully, voluntary helmet usage continues to increase with over 73 percent of skiers and snowboarders wearing a helmet in 2013. Some travel insurance companies require the insured to wear helmets in order to pay out on winter sport accidents.

Winter Sport Accidents

Downhill Skiing is one of the most popular winter sports around the world but people should know that it comes with a high risk of injury. Children experience more injuries than adults as they endure more ski-related fractures to the legs. Spiral fractures to the tibia are very common with 58 percent of injuries caused by a collision into a stationary object such as a tree or rock.

Downhill skiing is responsible for between 20 and 30 American deaths each year from massive neck or head injury and/or major thoraco-abdominal injury. The major factor contributing to accidents is excessive speed and subsequent loss of control. Less than 1 percent of injured skiers are found to be wearing helmets.

Snowboarding is the fastest growing winter sport in the United States; it is very popular with teenagers and young adults. Since snowboarders do not use ski poles for balance, they use their hands and arms instead and often end up with injuries to the arms, shoulders, and ankles.
Snowboarding is responsible for about 20 percent of winter slope deaths annually, translating to 8-12 deaths per year. Males have a much higher number of deaths than females likely because they tend to take more risks with jumps and tricks.

Snowmobiles are heavy off-road machines that can reach speeds of 90 mph. Every year, snowmobiles are responsible for more than 200 deaths, almost 14,000 accidents, and 10,000 visits to the emergency room. Despite age limit restrictions in all states, children younger than 17 years endure 12 percent of all snowmobile injuries, about 70 per year. Common causes of snowmobile accidents include losing control of the machine, rollover, hitting a stationary object, and crashing into another snowmobile. Head trauma was associated with three snowmobiling deaths in 2011 and is the leading cause of death among snowmobilers.

If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. today for a FREE consultation! You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!

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