Falling snow and freezing temperatures lead to dangerous icy conditions on side walks, drive ways and parking lots.
Common injuries we see during the winter are those that result from people slipping on slippery surfaces like snow and ice. These slips and falls come suddenly and by the time you realize you lost your footing, you are already on your way to the ground!
We want to give you some winter walking safety reminders so that you can prepare yourself to have a safe and happy holiday season.
Safety comes first in any dangerous situation, and treading over icy walk ways is no exception to the rule. The best thing you can do this winter to prevent slips and falls is to just take it easy.
You should plan ahead so that you end up having plenty of time to get from A to B. Slips and falls often happen simply because people are in too big of a rush to get somewhere. Being in a hurry sometimes causes people to ignore the hazards around them like slippery surfaces and moving cars.
Another safety tip is to remove the snow from the bottoms of your shoes before you enter a building. Many buildings have hard surfaces that become quite slippery when wet, and if the snow doesn’t melt off immediately, your shoes can remain slippery longer than you anticipate.
Handrails are all around us, but most people aren’t accustomed to using them. We suggest that you keep an eye out for these handrails especially when going up or down stairs. You can also use handrails when you are boarding public transportation, going in and out of buildings and going up and down ramps.
You’ve probably seen them before, but you can buy attachments for the bottoms of your shoes in most stores nowadays. They can usually be bought for under $10 and save you a lot of slipping and sliding, especially if you have a long hill to climb. One of the scariest feelings is walking down a hill and suddenly your feet begin to slide and there’s nothing you can do to stop your forward progress! These traction devices can help prevent that and other winter accidents from happening.
Remember to slow down during winter travel. This not only applies to driving on wintry roads, but also to every-day walking. Taking that extra long step, or changing directions too quickly or simply not paying attention to the details of the side-walk in front of you can all result in slips and falls.
One way to increase is your safety this winter is to be seen better. You can accomplish this by wearing brighter colors when you have to go out at night. There is winter wear you can buy that have reflective strips on them that will greatly increase your visibility.
When approaching a cross walk, wait an extra second or two just to make sure that no cars are sliding to a “stop”. Cars often slide through stop signs and red lights during the winter. Cars need more time to slow down and stop so try to use the orange crossing flags when possible and never jaywalk.
Sometimes, slipping on ice is unavoidable. You may have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time type of thing. If you do experience a fall, try to fall as limply as possible and avoid trying to break your fall with your hands. Take your time getting back up, don’t worry about being embarrassed because it literally happens to everyone, and if you are in need of medical attention be sure to call to avoid further injury to your neck, spine or other body parts. Just remember to be safe and be seen!
Beaches Health Group wishes you a joyous and safe holiday season and a happy New Year!