4 common causes of sidewalk falls in San Jose

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2023 | Personal Injury |

In the heart of San Jose, picturesque sidewalks can provide a charming backdrop to daily life. However, the seemingly even surfaces can be deceiving.

Uneven sidewalks, often a result of tree roots, weathering or inadequate maintenance, contribute significantly to slips and falls. The irregularities in the pavement can catch pedestrians off guard, leading to tumbles. Unfortunately, slip-and-fall accidents can cause fractures, broken bones, head injuries, spinal cord injuries and many other types of injuries.

1. Neglected maintenance

Maintenance is the backbone of safe public spaces, yet it is an aspect that people sometimes overlook. Cracked or broken pavements, especially after heavy rain or seismic activities, can create hazardous conditions.

San Jose’s diverse weather patterns, including occasional rain and earthquakes, demand upkeep of sidewalks. Failure to address these issues promptly can turn a simple stroll into a risky venture.

2. Inadequate drainage

San Jose experiences periods of heavy rainfall, especially from November through March when it sees much of its 17 annual inches of rain. When coupled with inadequate drainage systems, sidewalks can become slippery.

Puddles and standing water can persist long after the rain has ceased, transforming seemingly harmless pathways into potential slipping hazards. Insufficient drainage not only compromises pedestrian safety but also accelerates wear and tear on the sidewalk surfaces.

3. Lack of slip-resistant materials

In some cases, San Jose’s sidewalks may lack slip-resistant surfaces, especially in areas with high foot traffic. The accumulation of dirt, leaves, or other debris can exacerbate this absence of adequate traction. Sidewalks without slip-resistant features become even more treacherous in adverse weather conditions.

4. Footwear and footing

While external factors contribute significantly to sidewalk accidents, the type of footwear pedestrians wear also plays a role. High heels or worn-out soles can compromise an individual’s stability, increasing the risk of slips and falls.

Understanding the factors contributing to slips and falls on San Jose’s sidewalks is important for both city planners and pedestrians alike. By prioritizing safety aspects, San Jose can pave the way for a more secure and enjoyable pedestrian experience.