Why Trip Hazards Are So Dangerous

Ouch
United States
November 15, 2015 9:29am CST
I went to visit a new outlet mall in Southern California this week. As you can see from the photo on the right, that was a mistake. This is not my only injury. I am bruised and scraped in several places. My pants leg and knee were torn; my purse (which helped break my fall) was ripped too. If you have seen the episode of The Brain Games explaining how the brain does not let you see the unexpected, Did You See That? (on Dateline), or read the book The Invisible Gorilla, you will know what happened. I walked across the center court at the convergence of four major pedestrian corridors on Thursday during the Grand Opening of the new mall, and tripped over something that should not have been there. I didn’t see it. This new center is brand new, squeaky clean and state of the art. Yet, they did not put enough electrical outlets at the center of the courtyard. They placed a large Christmas tree there, complete with electrical lights. They also set up a temporary stage with a microphone and music. They did not plan ahead when they designed the center. They did not think ahead when they stretched electrical cords from a nearby restaurant across the courtyard to the stage. They covered the cords with a low, flat, ramp-like object designed to allow wheelchairs to go over the top of the cords. But it was black and unobtrusive. The brain does not process unobtrusive. This is why traffic cones are bright orange. This is why stop signs are bright red. This ramp should have been neon yellow, so that it was visible, and no one would trip, go flying and land on the pavement. I was paying attention to where I was going. I was not distracted, but the brain does not process stupid very well. How can we protect ourselves from being hurt if our brains are not able to help us avoid the illogical and unsafe actions of others?
20 people like this
21 responses
@pgntwo (21477)
• Derry, Northern Ireland
15 Nov 15
That looks painful. I hope the incident forms you undoubtedly have had to fill out are acted upon by the people responsible for managing the outlet mall!
5 people like this
• United States
15 Nov 15
They filled out the forms while I went by ambulance to the E.R. They removed the obstacle immediately after my fall (too late for me). I hope they learn from this. Safety first. Duh!
5 people like this
@jstory07 (57105)
• Roseburg, Oregon
15 Nov 15
@ElizabethWallace I am glad that you are alright. falling like that is something that I would have done.
2 people like this
@pgntwo (21477)
• Derry, Northern Ireland
15 Nov 15
@ElizabethWallace That is good to know. As you intimated, safety should have been engineered in from the start.
3 people like this
@marlina (60858)
• Canada
15 Nov 15
Ouch! that's a bad one all right. Are you going to sue them over this?
5 people like this
• United States
15 Nov 15
I wish there was a way to submit for compensation without doing so, but I don't think there is. They have my contact info and have not volunteered to cover them.
3 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
16 Nov 15
@ElizabethWallace - I hope you contact their business office on Monday. I am sure they have liability insurance.
3 people like this
• United States
16 Nov 15
@DeborahDiane I think I will wait until all of my out-of-pocket costs are determined. Personal injury claims can be filed up to two years later. (Won't wait that long.)
3 people like this
@simone10 (22269)
• Louisville, Kentucky
15 Nov 15
Ouch!! That had to hurt so bad. Did you land on something that made your eye so bruised? I hope the fall was brought to the attention of those in charge as this could easily happen to others.
4 people like this
• United States
15 Nov 15
I landed prone. My head hit the pavement, and I had a big goose egg. The blood drained into my eyelid two days later. All the biggies were front and center and saw me fly through the air and land. They called the paramedics and ambulance. They removed the obstacle immediately after my fall.
5 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
16 Nov 15
@ElizabethWallace - This is very, very sad!!!
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Nov 15
@DeborahDiane Thanks. It is another case of people in charge who do not take safety seriously.
2 people like this
16 Nov 15
Ouch! I'm sorry for your mishap!
3 people like this
• United States
16 Nov 15
Thanks. Hope they learned from their screw up.
1 person likes this
@jstory07 (57105)
• Roseburg, Oregon
15 Nov 15
Your eye looks very bad. Are you alright now and did you hit your self hard when you feel. did you go to a Doctor to be checked out. That looks like it must have hurt.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Nov 15
I was treated by paramedics at the site, and taken to the hospital emergency room by ambulance. This is typical when someone hits their head so hard. They kept me there for four hours for observation (after x-rays on my wrist and shoulder).
5 people like this
• Philippines
16 Nov 15
@ElizabethWallace i thought they would also do a scan of your head?
3 people like this
• United States
16 Nov 15
@hereandthere They do not want to give someone more radiation than necessary. They wait to see your symptoms. If you have indications that there might be a bleed, then they do an MRI.
2 people like this
@paigea (21030)
• Canada
16 Nov 15
Ow, that looks painful! Take care.
2 people like this
• United States
17 Nov 15
The invisible injuries hurt more. Interesting.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (118598)
• Switzerland
15 Nov 15
I am so sorry Elizabeth, your eye will stay red for several days. I cannot believe that they opened a new mall and did something so stupid.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Nov 15
Me neither. It is beautiful, but there were indications that their thinking is not on point. It is a quiet upscale community, and they were trying to get people in line to yell and scream. The only ones doing so were the employees. Customers looked at them like they were nuts.
2 people like this
@boiboing (12524)
• Northampton, England
15 Nov 15
That looks very painful.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Nov 15
It is, but there are non visible injuries that hurt more.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (97058)
• Bunbury, Australia
16 Nov 15
Goodness, that does look painful. You should certainly get compensation but sometimes suing big companies is more trouble than it is worth.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Nov 15
I am sure this brand new outlet mall (which i have so far not named) would not like bad publicity.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (97058)
• Bunbury, Australia
16 Nov 15
@ElizabethWallace At the very least they should replace your clothes and handbag. I hope it is healing as it should.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Nov 15
@JudyEv I am sure that they will, and my out of pocket medical and transportation costs.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
18 Nov 15
hope they looked after you ok and took steps to ensure no one else can get hurt in similar ways. You might even deserve compensation
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Nov 15
They removed the hazard immediately after I was hurt.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
19 Nov 15
@ElizabethWallace good that they addressed it right away - hope you feel better now
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Nov 15
@arthurchappell Some parts feel better, some worse. Such is life, and the healing process.
1 person likes this
@DeborahDiane (15871)
• Laguna Woods, California
16 Nov 15
Oh, no! I am so sorry that happened to you, Elizabeth!!! I hope you are not in too much pain and you recover quickly!
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Nov 15
Thanks. None of my injuries hurt (now) as much as passing a kidney stone. But when i first fell, several of them did for sure!
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
19 Nov 15
@ElizabethWallace - I hope the bruising is starting to disappear. What a horrible thing to have happen on what should have been a pleasurable day!
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Nov 15
@DeborahDiane Bruising gets worse before it gets better. I'm pretty ugly now with my swelling and racoon eye. The irony is that I had written "have fun" on my to do list.
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (31182)
• Portland, Connecticut
19 Nov 15
Oh my goodness that is awful. I guess I have to say that you are lucky nothing was broke but they really need to make sure that they remove that hazard.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Nov 15
They did because there were about 100 people who saw and heard me when I tripped. They were embarrassed.
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (31182)
• Portland, Connecticut
19 Nov 15
@ElizabethWallace I'll bet they are concerned that you will sue as well.
@troyburns (1478)
• New Zealand
19 Nov 15
Yikes. I wonder if any changes will be made as a result of your injury or it'll just be business as usual? I also wonder how many other folks in this mall have also had a spill. If you're not the only one, they may - perhaps - get the message.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Nov 15
The mall had only been open for about an hour or so when I tripped, so I was the first. They immediately removed the hazard. Maybe they learned a lesson.
1 person likes this
@fawkes62 (1359)
• United States
17 Nov 15
That looks like it hurts a lot. Hope you didn't receive any severe injuries, like a broken bone. I've tripped on things like that before, but thankfully haven't fallen, just lost my balance. The one I tripped on was gray on a white floor, so not completely unobtrusive, but still not the most noticeable either. Hope you heal quickly.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Nov 15
If people in charge of these places understood better, perhaps they would not create such hazards.
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16688)
• Boston, Massachusetts
17 Nov 15
Oh wow. That looks terrible. That's a clear case of liability and you should consult a personal injury attorney. Take lots of photos of your bruises. They owe customers the highest degree of care and had a clear hazard.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Nov 15
Thanks. I am keeping a record of everything too.
@mom210 (5800)
• Atlanta, Georgia
16 Nov 15
Oh my Gosh! I am so glad you were not hurt worse, that could have been really bad!
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Nov 15
True. My bone density is not what it should be, yet I broke no bones.
1 person likes this
@silvermist (15807)
• India
16 Nov 15
@ElizabethWallace This is terrible.Some body' irresponsible,stupid action is responsible for this.I think you should visit the doctor for a follow-up checking.Take care.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Nov 15
I will for sure. My shoulder and knee are problematic now. Bummer.
1 person likes this
@thea09 (18329)
• Greece
16 Nov 15
My goodness, that's a corker of an eye. Hope that it and your other scrapes don't hurt too much.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Nov 15
Here is the question of the day, "Which is better to relieve pain, Tylenol or Tequila?"
• Canada
20 Nov 15
Ouch! That looks very painful! I hope you heal quickly. Not fun.
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (19604)
• Canada
18 Nov 15
Oh my! I feel so bad. I hope you heal fast!
1 person likes this