What happens when you start to fall? Gravity takes affect, you hit the ground with force, and you can be seriously hurt. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows fall down accidents are a top cause of traumatic brain injury. Spinal cord damage and death can result from a fall as well. Seniors and children are especially vulnerable to fall risks. Many people try to plan ahead and learn how to fall safely in case they take a tumble. The problem is, this generally does not work.
The only safe way to fall is not to fall at all. Many falls, unfortunately, are caused by negligence outside of the victim's control. Slippery floors, problems with stairs or railings, debris in walkways, and inadequate safety equipment are all reasons for falls at work, or falls on public or private property. When negligence is the cause, the property owner or renter who failed to maintain reasonably safe conditions may be held accountable for injuries and losses.
Can You Prevent Injuries from Fall Down Accidents?
NJ.gov indicates it is a common misconception for people to believe they would be able to avoid getting seriously hurt in a fall. There are even guides on the Internet for how to be safer in case you tumble.
Wikihow, for example, advises victims who sustain a fall to try to relax if they are going down on a safe surface and to try to propel themselves forward if they are about to go down and land on rocks, glass, or other dangerous ground.
Other tips to avoid getting hurt in a fall accident include trying to avoid landing on the wrists. While a lot of people naturally put their hands out to try to catch themselves as they are falling, your hands can't support you if you land on them. Instead of averting injury by putting your hands out, you are likely to end up breaking your wrists or hurting your fingers, arms, and shoulders.
While it is good advice to try to keep your hands in and try to aim for a safe landing surface, few people are going to be able to react quickly enough to do any of these things. NJ.gov says people get the impression from movies that it is possible for them to avert a fall or catch themselves. In reality, a person takes about a half-second to react and in that half second the individual can fall four feet.
Because of the force of gravity, a falling person speeds up quickly as he descends and the impact force begins to increase exponentially as the individual falls. A 200 pound person who takes a six-foot fall would hit the ground with 10,000 pounds of force. Nothing is going to stop you when you are on this downward trajectory, except for hitting the ground or hitting another surface below you. When you hit the hard surface below, serious injuries often result.