Sidewalk potholes are something that anyone who lives in a city is used to seeing. The repair and maintenance of structural issues dealing with the sidewalk is normally the responsibility of the city or municipality. A lack of notification about a pothole or a backlog of work could leave a sidewalk in a very poor state for months or years. Potholes present a number of dangers to anyone who is using the sidewalk.
Slip And Fall
The most common incidents that occur because of sidewalk potholes are called slip and falls. This happens when a person is either unaware of the pothole or misjudges the depth of the hole. This could result in a stumble that causes a sprained ankle. It could also result in a complete fall to the ground. A person who falls violently and unexpectedly can suffer from fractures, serious cuts and even a concussion. Some extreme cases have resulted in broken bones and other injuries when the person falls into another object because of the pothole. A pothole becomes particularly dangerous at night when visibility is reduced. Slip and fall accidents can happen to anyone and at any time.
A pothole in the sidewalk can become a major obstacle for someone who is dealing with mobility issues. A simple pothole could make a sidewalk inaccessible to a person in a wheelchair. Potholes that have been present for years often expand and can occupy an entire length of sidewalk. This hinders accessibility for people who need to traverse the area during the day. This can result in the loss of a job or other inconveniences that reduce quality of life. The situation can become very serious if a person in a wheelchair becomes trapped in the pothole when no else one is around to help.
Potholes in the sidewalk collect water when it rains. The potholes will also collect moisture and snow in the winter. A pothole could become an invisible patch of ice when the winter arrives in a cold city. Icy potholes have resulted in broken bones, concussions and other injuries. The ice is often indistinguishable from the rest of the sidewalk causing pedestrians to slip on the patch while walking at full speed. The ice is also a problem for bikes. Bicycles that skid across even a very small patch of ice could launch the rider or the bike several feet into the street or into a crowd of people.
Lost Or Damaged Property
One of the results of stumbling or falling because of sidewalk potholes is that personal items could be dropped, damaged or lost. At item like a wallet or cell phone that suddenly flies forward because of the pothole could drop into a sewer grate or could be crushed by a car in the street. Even dropping an item like a cell phone a few feet to the sidewalk could destroy the device. Lost and damaged property is just one of the many dangers of sidewalk potholes.