Young adults: the unlikely victims of slip and fall accidents

Among the general population the elderly are often considered to be at the highest risk for slip and fall accidents due to a lack of balance and strength resulting from old age. However, a Purdue University study has found that young adults tend to fall more often than expected.

Researchers asked 94 undergraduate college students of an average age of 19 to complete an online survey about any trips, slips or falls they had each day. According to the data, more than half of the students fell at least once while 21 percent fell twice or more during the four-month survey period. Sixteen percent of the slip and fall accidents resulted in injuries and 4 percent needed medical attention.

In addition, the frequency of falls increased as the participants became more physically active. Falls resulting from talking to people while walking were the most common. Study author Shirley Rietdyk attributed the occurrence to the demanding nature of multitasking, which requires the brain to simultaneously manage speech generation, balance control, terrain navigation and other functions.

“The most commonly cited statistic is that one in three older adults falls each year due to age-related changes in balance, and in this four-month study, more than half of the college students fell during daily activities,” said Rietdyk, a kinesiology and health professor at the university. She suggested the fall rate for the elderly may be lower because they are naturally more cautious about the risk of serious, and sometimes fatal, injuries due to falls. The study’s findings, published in March in Human Movement Science, highlight that even young, healthy adults can be prone to slip and fall accidents that can cause injuries.

It is important to note that determining fault can be more complicated than it might seem. If you were injured and you believe someone else is fully or partially to blame, contact Chalik & Chalik to learn more about your rights.