In the modern world, we have grown accustomed to interacting with an environment that has been standardized. Curbs, sidewalks, stairs, doors…Since each of these behaves very similarly to others of its kind, we do not stop and freshly puzzle each one out when we come across one in our daily lives. Our brains naturally routinize redundant events, freeing its resources to concentrate on new or unresolved issues instead. Thus we go through much of our day on a kind of auto-pilot. Case in point: Which foot did you begin the last set of stairs with? Left? Right? You probably don’t know. Your brain has delegated that decision to a situational habit years ago.
However, our minds are always ready to kick off the auto-pilot to address a new issue. For example, if we are walking down a sidewalk and a soccer ball suddenly bounces out from a yard towards us, we notice this new event, break from our routine and decisively respond to
the situation. The same goes for any obvious hazard we encounter on the sidewalk. The catch is that we have to perceive the situation as a hazard, before we can react to it.
Ironically, situations that are close-to-but-not-quite-normal are the ones that can hurt us the most. Take the average parking lot wheel stop for a simple example. We have all stepped over these concrete barriers at some point in our lives. Likely it’s safe to say we have stepped over many wheel stops in our lives. In doing so, we have learned just how high we have to raise our feet to clear those stops. Over the years, we have relied on our body memory to glide us over those stops. So, when a wheel stop is sitting one inch higher than what our instincts say is necessary to clear them, accidents can happen.
Where exactly is the line drawn between pedestrian vigilance and property owner responsibility? Fortunately, in this modern world, there are codes, standards and experts who can interpret and apply them. The experts at CED Technologies utilize a full range of techniques to analyze a Slip & Fall injury, including Architectural, Biomechanical and Human Factors.