Imagine that you are leaving the grocery store on a rainy day. As you are walking to your car you slip and fall, realizing too late that you were walking on a speed bump. It is not uncommon to see speed bumps outside of stores, since they are meant to slow down traffic for pedestrian safety. However, speed bumps also present a hazard to the same pedestrians they are supposed to protect.
Speed bumps are spherical and if not seen in time, can be very dangerous to a person expecting to be walking on a flat surface. Though they should be located in places where only vehicles cross over them, sometimes it is impossible for a pedestrian not to cross one in order to get to their car. In these instances, the store with the speed bump must do everything they can to prevent slip and fall accidents. This includes using a slip-resistant coating. The speed bump should also be a different color than the sidewalk and street, so that a change in surface is easily noticeable. Warning signs for both motorists and pedestrians should be placed in the proper areas surrounding the speed bump as well.
In 2003, Bonnie Offerdahl, a Warminster, PA woman, was jogging in Cape May, NJ, when she got distracted by a car pulling out of a close street. While she was focusing on not getting hit by the car, she fell over a speed bump and broke her arm. A jury awarded her $49,308 in damages. The Mayor at the time said that during her campaign that speed bumps were an issue brought up by the residents. Electronic signs showing a driver's speed have since replaced numerous amounts of speed bumps.
Speed bumps are not only risky for pedestrians, but can present a danger to drivers as well. It is important to stay alert since speed bumps are not always announced ahead of time with warning signs. A motorist going 35 miles per hour over a speed bump could very easily cause an accident resulting in injuries or even death.
Speed bumps present a hazard to pedestrians and motorists alike. Property owners must take reasonable steps to warn pedestrians and motorists of upcoming speed bumps in order to avoid accidents and injuries. If you have ever been injured in a slip, trip and fall accident on a speed bump or elsewhere, don't hesitate to call our experienced lawyers at White and Williams. We serve accident victims in all areas of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and always offer a free consultation. 1-877-944-8396.