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Top tips to avoiding festive falls, slips and trips

View profile for Ian Rees
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With Christmas just weeks away, more and more people will be wrapping up and heading out to enjoy the festivities or get in some last-minute shopping.

However, with temperatures plunging and the nights getting darker far earlier, people are more at risk of accidents, slips and injuries while venturing out at this time of year.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) around 80,000 people head to hospital after suffering falls, slips, cuts, and other injuries during the festive period, with around 6,000 needing to be admitted.

Ian Rees, Director and Head of Personal Injury at JCP Solicitors, said: “While this time of year is really lovely for people, and everyone is enjoying some Christmas shopping, socialising and other outdoor activities, we would always urge you to be cautious when heading outdoors during winter.

“The darker nights pose added risk for people who are travelling on foot, whether they are commuting or celebrating the festivities, so it is vital to always be prepared when heading out during darker, colder conditions.”

So, with the risk of accidents being more likely this time of year due to icy conditions, busy shoppers, and maybe some Christmas partying, here is some advice from Ian on how to avoid a festive fall.

Always leave enough time for your journey

If you’re planning to commute on foot or if you are walking to an event in December, factor in additional time for darker and potentially icy conditions. Doing this will help to prevent rushing and reduce the risk of an avoidable fall.

Be aware of frost and ice

With temperatures falling during December, frost and ice are commonplace and are particularly hazardous for those heading outdoors. We would always encourage you to be aware of any dramatic falls in temperature which could prove dangerous and to consider if your journey is absolutely essential.

Try to wear appropriate footwear

High heels and shoes without adequate support are more likely to result in falls during darker and colder conditions. If you are planning to do some shopping or head outside always wear flat, comfortable and well-supported shoes to reduce the risk of a slipping incident.

Wear appropriate clothing

With the nights getting darker earlier, it is vital that you ensure you are more visible when you are walking or running outdoors during this time of year.

Try to wear reflective or bright clothing to ensure you are clearly visible to traffic and other pedestrians, this will help to minimise the chances of an accident or injury.

We would also advise parents to ensure their children wear brighter clothing if they are walking home from school, to ensure they are seen by drivers during busy times or if visibility is poor.

Make use of front and rear lights on bicycles

If you like to ride your bike for social purposes or commuting, even in daytime hours, the visibility can be very poor. Front and back lights on bicycles should be considered essential to keep you safe around other road users.

Be vigilant

With many people likely to be rushing around at this time of year it is always crucial to be more vigilant outdoors. Try to be aware of your surroundings and any potential hazards on pavements to avoid unnecessary injuries, and try to stay in well-lit areas where you can see where you are going.

JCP Solicitors’ expert Personal Injury team is on hand to discuss any injuries you may face this festive season. For more information contact or 03333 209 244.