Stairs or an elevator accident – which is more common? When faced with deciding to take the stairs versus an elevator, most people will choose the elevator. Many individuals are always on the go, and elevators offer extreme convenience. However, in some cases, one would prefer the stairs when there is a long line for an elevator. Waiting for an elevator and then stopping at numerous floors may not be ideal. We have also learned that it is not ideal to use an elevator instead of stairs under certain circumstances, like emergencies. Aside from emergencies, it is common to wonder, is it safer to take an elevator or stairs?
Is an Elevator Accident Common?
Without a doubt, elevators are one of the great inventions of all time. There are many benefits to taking the elevator. Convenience, less physical exertion, and speed, to name a few. Elevators, built to protect those that rely on them, have a relatively consistent operational track record.
Unlike stairs, elevators have an automatic brake system designed to stop before a free fall happens. Elevators have four to eight times the number of cables they need to hold their weight. Additionally, an elevator will not move if it exceeds the weight limit. They will stay in place until the weight stabilizes and sensors prevent elevator doors from opening unless the cab is level. This process is intended to keep riders from falling into the shaft. Lastly, there is a shock absorber system at the bottom of the shaft in the rare instance that the elevator falls. There are also mechanisms to prohibit doors from closing on riders as they enter or exit.
Overall, elevators are very complex machines with sophisticated built-in safety measures. Highly-trained, certified professionals install them, and laws require routine inspection and upkeep. Elevator accidents are rare and almost always the result of poor maintenance.
Can Stairs be Dangerous?
Many believe that it is safer to take the stairs since there is no technological component to rely on. On the contrary, it is more likely to be injured on stairs than from an elevator accident. According to the American Journal of Medicine, more than 1 million Americans are injured each year by taking the stairs. Stair accidents constitute the second leading cause of accidental injury, second only to motor vehicle accidents.
Health and fitness benefits can make stairs the preferred choice for some. Plus, most people do not consider steps as sources of danger, making them more desirable than elevator transport. The belief that stairs are safe can blind users to potential hazards. Unexpected issues that cause slip and fall accidents are primarily due to negligence.
Damaged infrastructure, construction, or wet floors are top perils. Lack of proper signage or warnings contributes to the dangerous conditions. All of this together creates the perfect storm for people to trip or slip. Common injuries from falling on or down stairs include ankle sprains or fractures, spinal cord damage, deep lacerations, head and neck injuries, broken bones, and internal bleeding. Severity can range from bruises to requiring significant medical intervention.
Play it Safe and Get the Help You Need
The conclusion is that elevators are generally safer than stairs. However, it is still possible for injuries to occur in an elevator or staircase accident under certain circumstances. Have you been hurt in an incident of this nature? Don’t despair. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to explain your options and protect your rights. Edelman, Krasin, & Jaye, PLLC has convenient New York office locations in Long Island, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.
We know how to approach these cases to get the results you need. Call us at 800-469-7429 to set up a free initial consultation. You can also contact us using our online form or Live Chat application.