The calendar now says March, but that doesn’t mean the dangers associated with winter weather have suddenly vanished. Many parts of the country remain covered by snow and ice, so the risks of slip and fall accidents are still out there.
In fact, this time of year could be even more dangerous for pedestrians than the middle of January or February. That’s because people tend to let down their guard when they think spring is on the way, thus leaving themselves vulnerable to ice-induced tumbles. In addition, property owners might not be as attentive to sidewalks and parking lots in March as they are during the height of winter, so ice and snow are often left on the ground for longer periods.
To help minimize your own risk of slipping and falling in the coming weeks before spring sets in for good, keep these useful tips in mind whenever you’re walking outside:
- Walk slowly across uneven pavement or on surfaces covered with snow and ice. Use handrails where available, particularly when going up or down stairs.
- When crossing treacherous ground, maintain a low center of gravity by keeping your hands out of your pockets, bending your knees a bit, and positioning your torso over your feet. Take very short steps and be sure to stop periodically to prevent momentum from carrying you too fast.
- As frequently as possible, try to wear nonslip shoes or boots that have some kind of traction on their soles. When dress shoes or other smooth-soled footwear is required, consider using an easy on/off traction device like the WinterGrips Ice Cleats from CozyWinters for extra grip and stability.
- Avoid loading both arms with heavy bags, packages, or other bulky items. Doing so not only throws off your balance, but also prevents you from grabbing onto handrails or breaking your fall if you slip.
- Use extra caution when climbing in and out of vehicles, as the spaces between parked cars are often left untouched by snow shovels and plows.
- If you feel yourself falling, make an effort to land on “softer” parts of your body (such as your side or butt) instead of your wrists, knees, or other bony areas.
Winter is not over just yet, so walking outdoors requires that you be extra aware of the potential dangers around you. Take these precautions to minimize the chances of slipping and falling in the late stages of the season.