Outdoor dining has been deemed the safer option than indoor dining as states throughout the country battle the coronavirus. However, outdoor dining has become problematic for pedestrians. With thousands of restaurants in and around Chattanooga moving to outdoor dining, pedestrians have less space to maneuver on sidewalks and find themselves dodging a lot of new hazards.
Sidewalks are narrow to begin with, and they have gotten even narrower now that restaurants have tables and hostess stands set up outside during the pandemic. This means that pedestrians don’t have much room to maneuver when out for a stroll. It is particularly difficult for people who require wheelchairs or other mobility tools, as well as for parents with strollers. The added number of moving bodies – servers, bussers, hosts, managers, and diners – can make sidewalk dining a real hazard for passers-by.
Trip and fall hazards have increased
Trip and fall hazards are more prevalent now that restaurants have outdoor dining. With wires being run into the restaurant for heaters, lighting, or an audio system, pedestrians now have to be extra careful. Restaurants should be held accountable when setting up their outdoor dining areas, which means that all wires should be taped down or kept off the sidewalk completely.
Heat lamps can lead to burn injuries
Many restaurants are now adding portable heat lamps to their outdoor setups to keep customers comfortable as the temperatures begin to drop. These heaters, though heavy, are not permanent installations. A diner, staff member, or pedestrian could knock one over, leading to injuries. There is also a risk of burn injuries, depending on the exact nature of the lamp.
Pedestrian accident risks increase
Many pedestrians are being forced into the street to get around sprawling outdoor dining set ups. Passing vehicles can easily hit the pedestrian, especially if there is no time to stop or change lanes. This also poses a risk for cyclists, who now face an increased risk of crashes with pedestrians and with vehicles.
If you have been injured while walking past a restaurant with outdoor dining, you might have the basis for a personal injury claim. At Wagner & Wagner, Attorneys at Law, we review cases with an open mind to help clients determine whether they have a case for compensation. Call us today at 423-756-7923 or complete a contact form to schedule a consultation. Our team provides legal services to clients located in Chattanooga TN, Cleveland TN, North Georgia, and the surrounding region.