Tips for walking around on icy/snowy surfaces
Snow is one thing, but streets, sidewalks and parking lots coated in sheets of ice are another, as we experienced earlier this week! One hospital employee carries kitty litter in her car, not just for tire traction if needed, but to scatter on icy pathways for walking.
That’s just one way to walk safely on slick surfaces. Below are some tips for walking in icy conditions from the Snow & Ice Management Association, a nonprofit group representing the snow removal industry.
- Wear proper footwear. Wear shoes with heavy treading and a flat bottom that place the entire foot on the surface of the ground.
Also, you can attach a pair of Yaktrax Walk Traction Cleats to the bottom of any flat shoe or boot. The slip-on cleats, with steel coils, greatly reduce the risk of falls. Find them online for less than $20.
- Wear things that help you see and be seen. Wear sunglasses so you can see. Also, bright and reflective clothing help you be seen by drivers.
- Plan ahead. Walk consciously on icy sidewalks and parking lots. Look up to see where the next icy spots are and be aware of any vehicles near you.
- Listen. Avoid listening to music or talking on the phone while walking in icy or snowy conditions. Pedestrians need to be able to hear approaching traffic or other noises.
- Anticipate ice. What appears to be wet pavement may be black ice, so approach it with caution. Ice will often appear in the mornings, so be more aware in the early hours.
- Take steps slowly. When walking down steps, take them slowly and deliberately. Plant your feet in a wide-legged stance securely on each step and be sure to have a firm grip on the handrail.
- Enter buildings slowly. The floors of buildings may be covered in melted snow and ice, so check the entrance and try to step on any rugs in the doorways.
- Avoid shortcuts. A shortcut path may be dangerous because it is less likely that snow and ice removal occurred.