When shopping in a large mall or department store, or traveling through an airport, an escalator is one convenience we all enjoy using as it saves both time and effort. Although the principal areas of usage for escalators is in department stores and shopping malls, they are found in many other buildings all around the world as well. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), escalators around this country give an estimated 90 billion rides each year. Unfortunately along with these rides, an accident occasionally occurs.
Metro Nashville Police reported that an elderly woman died after falling down a supermarket escalator on Wednesday afternoon. Martha Short unfortunately pushed her grocery cart onto the passenger escalator instead of the escalator designed for carts only at the Harris Teeter at 4416 Ridgefield Way. When her cart rolled forward, the 83-year-old woman then fell to the bottom of the moving stairs. According to authorities, Short was taken to St. Thomas Hospital where she later died.
Safety is a major concern in escalator design. Even with safety features, accidents and even fatalities have occurred on escalators. Although some accidents are caused by improper or unsafe use such as riding the hand rails, some accidents are caused by escalator malfunctions or improper maintenance. According to CPSC, in 2007 there were 11,000 escalator accidents in this country. The most common injuries involve falls, and then entrapment of a person’s hands, feet or shoes are the next most common accidents.
Most injuries from riding on escalators can be prevented by following several safety steps. These steps are to never step on an escalator with untied shoelaces; always stand in the middle of the step; do not allow children to play on escalators; and finally, never place a stroller or shopping cart on an escalator designed for moving people.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an escalator accident, contact an experienced Nashville personal injury lawyer to find out about your legal options.