While you most likely know the proper safety guidelines for driving in snow, did you know that there are ways to reduce your chance of slipping and falling while walking on the snow and ice that’s formed on your stairs and walkways? Using these snow and ice safety tips you’ll be able to get where you’re going this winter safely and securely.
Tip #1: Wear Appropriate Clothing
When planning your winter wardrobe, make sure it provides safety as well as style. Wear boots with grooved soles that provide traction rather than ones with smooth soles. A bulky, puffy winter coat can act not only as insulation against the cold weather but as a cushion if you do fall. Since most winter coats come in dark colors, be sure to wear a bright scarf or hat so drivers can see you. This is especially critical if you have to walk in the street because the sidewalk is icy or covered with snow. If you decide to wear a hat or earmuffs, make sure you can still hear and see everything around you. You don’t want to have your vision or hearing obstructed while walking down the sidewalk. You might miss a patch of ice or not hear a car lose control on the road.
Tip #2: How to Walk on Ice
- Be observant. Always look where you’re walking and make sure you’re not distracted. Being distracted by digging in your purse or checking your phone could result in you not seeing a patch of ice until it’s too late.
- Don’t keep your hands in your pockets while you walk. Doing so delays the reaction time you have to use your arms for balance if you do start slipping on a patch of ice. It also prevents you from using your arms to break your fall if you do end up falling.
- Don’t take shortcuts. Shortcuts will most likely have more ice than well-traveled paths.
- Keep your center of gravity over your feet by bending slightly. Walk with a flat foot and take small steps or shuffle your feet for better stability.
Tip #3: Look Up
Ice isn’t only found on the ground. When walking through a parking lot or down a sidewalk, always be sure to look up regularly, especially when walking under trees, to check for falling ice. Falling icicles are extremely dangerous and can even be deadly. Every year, about 15 people die from icicles falling on them.