On any snowy day, think about your walking route. Can you take an elevator instead of potentially slippery steps? At any point on your path, do you have the option of using a tunnel instead of walking out in the open? If so, do – during winter storms, minimizing the risk of a slip and fall on ice the most important thing you can do.

When walking in icy conditions, you’re at a big disadvantage. Ice doesn’t provide the same traction as pavement, asphalt, or concrete. Piles of snow and slush can make it hard to keep your balance or force you to change your route to avoid them. To stay safe in these potentially dangerous conditions, you have to use any safety feature you’ve got available – even if it means altering your usual route to do it.

  • A slip and fall down a flight of stairs can be particularly dangerous. When you have the option, use an elevator or ramp instead of steps.
  • If you must take the stairs, either inside or outside, use the handrail. It could mean the difference between a close call and a devastating fall. Remember that even indoor stairs can become dangerously slippery when people track ice and slush inside buildings.
  • Ice can only gather easily on exposed surfaces, like sidewalks and parking lots that are out in the open. When possible, choose tunnels and covered walkways over open sidewalks. A roof or awning might not do much to keep out the cold, but if it minimizes the amount of ice that forms or prevents ice from forming entirely, it could make you a lot safer.

It only takes a few small changes to make walking in icy conditions safer. If a simple change could prevent you from breaking an arm or permanently damaging your back, isn’t it worthwhile?