Pennsylvanians are likely quite familiar with the risks of slippery roads and walkways during the winter. And we recognize the importance having a healthy supply of materials like salt to make these surfaces safer. Unfortunately, salt suppliers are in a severe salt shortage after last year, and injuries could occur as a result.
Salt suppliers credit two main reasons for the inventory shortage. First, they suggest a late season ice storm early this spring depleted much of the remaining inventory from last year. Second, the employees at the world's largest salt supplier, Compass Minerals, went on an eleven-week strike this summer. Because summer is the season when salt is stockpiled, this strike could have serious consequences all over the world.
Additionally, the salt that is available is over three times more expensive than normal. Some salt suppliers report this is the highest price they've seen in salt in almost a decade. Because cities get first priority in available salt for roads, people are at the greatest risk for potential slip-and-fall injuries walking into stores and in parking lots.
Some businesses that cannot afford the high price of salt may take the risk to go without, which is not good news for pedestrians, as it could greatly increase the chances of slip-and-fall accidents. As the first snow falls begin, it is important to be cautious when walking in and out of buildings.
The salt shortage could mean slippery roads for motorists across the state, as well. During winter months, cars can slip and spin out of control when tires lose grip on the road due to ice. Well-salted roads are less icy, as the salt lowers the freezing point of the water. Without sufficient salt, we could see more icy roads and a higher number of car accidents as well.
If you sustain injuries in a slip-and-fall or car accident because of icy roads this winter, consider talking to an attorney to help you pursue the compensation you may deserve.