How to Avoid Slipping on Ice This Winter
With winter fast approaching, now is the perfect time to start thinking about how you’ll stay safe all season long. Slipping on ice is a common reason why people show up in emergency and urgent care clinics, and it can lead to some pretty serious injuries. Anyone is vulnerable to the slippery conditions, from kids to seniors. But the good news is there are steps you can take that will allow you to enjoy the outdoors this winter and dramatically reduce your risks of slipping on ice. Let’s take a closer look.
What are the Most Common Injuries?
For those who haven’t ever slipped on ice before, consider yourself lucky as the injuries can be painful and recovery can be slow. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20% of falls result in a head injury or broken bones. The CDC also states that three million seniors need medical attention yearly due to a fall, and you can bet that ice is a factor in a percentage of those falls.
Breaking it down further, some of the most common injuries when slipping on ice include:
- Serious head injury or a traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken hip
- Broken arm
- Broken shoulder
- Broken leg
- Broken ankle
- Broken wrist
Any one of these will be enough to sideline you and, depending on the severity of the injuries and your age, the recovery process can be slow and painful. In the case of a TBI, full recovery may not be possible.
Physical injuries may only be part of what you deal with, as many people can develop a fear of the ice after suffering from a serious fall. This can prevent you from enjoying life to the fullest during the winter season.
Staying Indoors Isn’t a Viable Option
If you plan to stay home and remain indoors, you can see how this isn’t sustainable in the long run. Sure, it may keep you safe from slipping on the ice, but what are you sacrificing for this “safety”? Are you prepared to skip all social gatherings, not do errands and become home bound? Risk always exists no matter where you are, so a better approach is to learn how to reduce your risk.
The only time that this rule doesn’t apply is during a snow or ice event. In this case, it’s best to stay at home if possible until the weather improves.
Assume Everything is Icy and Slippery
Before you even take your first step outdoors, it’s wise to assume everything you see is covered in ice. Not all ice is visible, and sometimes it can look like a puddle or just a bit of moisture. By the time you realize the surface is icy, it’s too late and you’ve already fallen. If you assume everything is slippery, then you will take the proper precautions.
Always Wear Footwear with Excellent Grip
One of the best tips to avoid slipping on ice is to update your footwear and ensure you’re wearing something with excellent traction. Look for boots that have plenty of deep ridges, and preferably in different patterns and directions. This can help you get a better grip as you walk. Also, the material should be flexible even in the cold, rather than freezing up and becoming rigid.
If you don’t want to purchase new boots, try looking for ice grips that slip on over your existing boots. These often have small metal spikes on them that will do a great job cutting through the ice and giving you a sense of stability. This is a convenient and inexpensive option.
Go Slow on Slippery Surfaces
Winter is not the time to be rushing about, especially on foot. Be sure to take your time, walk slowly and ensure you feel stable on your feet. It can also be helpful to take small steps, making sure you feel the surface before you put all your weight down.
Skip the Night-Time Walks
Night-time walks can be wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable, but winter can throw a wrench in your plans. Temperatures dip once the sun goes down, which can cause surfaces to freeze over. Combine that with the low-light conditions, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. There’s no reason to stop walking altogether; instead, it’s wise to switch to daytime walks.
Clear Snow and Ice as It Forms
As a responsible homeowner, it’s up to you to keep your sidewalks clear in the winter, but what about your driveway and front door/entryway? Make sure to clear snow and ice as it forms so it never gets a chance to build up. If you’re physically unable to clear the snow and ice, it’s best to hire someone who can.
What If You Slip on Ice at Someone Else’s Home or Business?
Even if you take all these precautions, accidents can still happen, and there’s the fact that not everyone is as careful as you. What if you slip on ice and fall at someone else’s house, a public place or a business? In this case, the negligent party could be found liable if you file a personal injury claim.
Personal injury claims can be very confusing, and dealing with an insurance company that is set on lowballing you can be overwhelming. That is exactly why we encourage you to give us a call and speak to one of our experienced attorneys. We understand how traumatic a slip-and-fall accident can be, and the monetary and emotional costs that you’ll go through. We want to fight for fair and reasonable compensation on your part so you can focus on recovery.
You can visit one of our many offices at:
- Orlando – 315 Park Lake Cir., Orlando, FL 32803
- Tampa – 11700 N. 58th St., Ste. A, Temple Terrace, FL 33617
- Kissimmee – 1052 E. Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee, FL 34744
- Poinciana – 4663 Old Pleasant Hill Road, Poinciana, FL 34759
- Davenport – 40230 US Highway 27, Suite 140, Davenport, FL 33837
- Bradenton – 409 6th Avenue East, Bradenton, FL 34208
You can also call now for a free consultation at (888) 522-0222.
Let us take care of everything and fight for compensation.