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How to Avoid Slipping on Ice and Snow

Updated on October 18, 2019
Stay upright, not on the ground with a sore behind!
Stay upright, not on the ground with a sore behind!

The Dangers Of Slipping On Ice

Wintertime can be a very dangerous time as far as frozen ice on the ground is concerned, It is very annoying and inconvenient trying to walk when the ground resembles an ice rink and you have to pick every step carefully!

At this time of year, hospitals are often inundated with extra casualties in their accident and emergency departments. Slipping on ice can cause fractures etc and can be a real danger, even more so for the elderly or infirm.

Fortunately there is certain precautions you can take, its best to only walk in icy areas when absolutely necessary. Even in areas that seem safe, there can black ice, ice that you can't see, as it looks like just damp or clear ground.

Take it slowly and never underestimate the possibility of black ice, even when it seems clear. If the temperatures are sub-zero, you don't want to find out the hard way that the nice ice-free pathway you thought you were on was just an accident waiting to happen.

How to avoid slipping on ice

One thing you can do is to invest in a pair of ice grips for shoes, also known as ice cleats. These are worn over the sole of your boots or shoes and provide extra grip for when you have to walk through icey areas for any period of time. This can really save you from a bad fall and a possible hospital visit.

As there are several different designs to choose from, you may want to shop around before purchasing. For example, some are harder to take off than others. This may make a difference if you are regularly walking between icy and non icy areas, or indoors.

Choosing Ice Cleats / Ice Grips

There are several different types of ice cleats available for shoes. Which type you want to buy depends on your situation and the parcular cold weather conditions you are dealing with. There is types that range from being rubber ice grips or even string type material, these are when conditions are not so harsh or when you don't wish to look like you're trekking through the north pole! There is also ones available for more severe conditions, these have metal spikes or protruding grips which may or may not be replacable.

Its worth looking around at some of the different ones available as the styles and prices vary widely. It is a very good investment to make, even if you are lucky enough to only have to deal with short winter icey conditions, as it only takes one fall one time to cause a very painful inconvenient accident, better safe than sorry, watch your step and take the precautions necessary to stay safe, starting with a suitable pair of ice grips for your shoes.

Here Are Some Practical Tips to Avoid Slipping on Ice

  1. Don't be in a hurry, it's important to take your time!
  2. Make sure your body weight is leaning slightly forward on the insides of each of your feet.
  3. If the road or pathway is gritted, walk on the gritted area.
  4. Try to avoid having to walk on highly compacted snow, as it's more likely to be slippery than non-compacted snow.
  5. Concentrate on your walking, even if you look a little silly, it's worth it!

It can be a lot safer to walk on packed snow beside a sidewalk or pathway,Instead of walking on the main walkway itself. The thin layer of water on the main walkway can act as a lubricant or become black ice, increasing the risk of falling.

Try to avoid having to wear smooth bottomed shoes, these can often lead to falls ( even in non icy conditions!) Try to have a good grip on your sole, so it's worth investing in a good pair of winter boots.

Be Like The Penguins!

If you don't want to buy ice grips, you might want to consider becoming a penguin! (or at least taking a lesson from their book)

Have you ever noticed how they walk? They have their center of gravity over their supporting leg. Therefore, the body weight is perpendicular to the ground, keeping them upright and a lot more stable. Also, taking only little steps helps ensure that we keep the perpendicular angle to the icy ground.

It’s also very important to not walk with your hands in your pockets, as this leads to lack of arm movements, which means lack of balance..

If You Must Fall, Fall Better!

If a fall is about to happen, you have to react fast. It's time to "Tuck and Roll"

Make yourself small by tucking into a ball shape. This helps to get a low center of gravity and reduces any chances of injury, since you don't have as far to fall.

You want to avoid landing on your head or face, and also avoid putting out your hands to stop you, if possible, as they can then be injured, sometimes it's just better to be cushioned by a fleshy part of your body when you land.

Although these suggestions may help reduce your chance of falling in slippery, icy conditions, there is no real guarantee against it. Just be very aware of your walking, be careful, take your time.


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