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Safety Tips to Stay on Your Feet In Icy Weather

Ice looks pretty on the trees, but it can be dangerous to walk on. Anyone can lose their footing regardless of age or fitness level. So what can you do to avoid falls during winter weather?

Prepare your path

You’re less likely to fall if you’ve salted the areas you walk — like the front porch, steps and sidewalk. Remember, preparation is a good start, but it isn’t foolproof.

Watch That First Step

People often slip when they let their guard down and feel secure. Like that first step out the front door going to your mailbox. Don’t be fooled! Tread carefully.

Choose the Right Shoes

Wear shoes or boots that provide good traction, have non-slip soles like rubber, and offer a good grip on walking surfaces. Avoid wearing: smooth-soled dress shoes, heels or worn-down sneakers.

Walk Like A Penguin

Those flightless little birds are professionals at walking on ice. Mimic them! Point your toes outward, extend your arms at your side for balance and keep your center of gravity over your front leg. Take short steps or shuffle. You should look a little like a penguin.

Keep your hands free (and out of pockets)

Your hands help you maintain balance. Wear gloves, keep your hands out of your pockets, and extend them by your side.

How To Fall

If you find yourself falling on ice, these tips might be the difference between bumps and bruises, or broken bones. Yes, there’s a right way to fall:

  • Tuck and roll. Make yourself as small as possible. You may have the wind knocked out of you, but it could be much worse.
  • Fall on your arm or shoulder. Don’t extend your hands or elbows. This is how wrists and elbows are broken. You’re less likely to have a serious injury when you fall on an entire arm, shoulder or side.
  • Falling backward? Don’t try to catch yourself. Slap the ground to lessen the impact instead of trying to catch yourself, and keep your head forward (so it doesn’t smack the ground).
  • Wear gloves or other padding. If you know you’re going out on ice, be prepared with some cushioning (and, it’ll keep you warm!).

Remember, if the road is icy, everything else is as well. Avoid the ice when you can and walk cautiously when you have no other choice.


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