Tips for walking more safely on ice and avoiding falls

Thursday, 7th January 2021, 12:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th January 2021, 12:23 pm

As the temperature drops and the UK’s streets see a sprinkling of snow, you might find your walk to the shops a little more challenging than normal.

While slipping on ice and falling can be embarrassing, it can also be dangerous. Luckily, accidents can be avoided with a few simple steps. ere’s how to walk more safely on ice during the winter months.

Pick a safe route

It may sound simple, but a useful starting point is to choose a safe route.

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time, and pick a route where you know you will have plenty of pavement space. Because of the conditions, don’t assume a clear path for walking will be available.

Wear suitable boots and shoes

Having suitable shoes and boots will give you more confidence whilst walking on the ice.

Wearing footwear with rubber and neoprene composite soles will provide good traction. Walkers should avoid shoes with heels, and stear more towards flat-soled shoes.

Crampons can also be purchased relatively cheaply, and fitted over your normal walking shoes to add more grip.

Take short steps and shuffle

When walking on ice, take smaller steps and shuffle for stability.

Walkers should also bend slightly forward and walk flat footed. This will help keep your center of gravity directly over your feet as much as possible.

Keep your head up when walking.

Keep your hands free

Keep your hands out of your pockets whilst walking on icy roads. You should be prepared to fall.

If you fall, fall with sequential contacts at your hip, thigh and shoulder. Avoid using outstretched arms to brace yourself, in order to limit damage to your hands and arms.

Avoid using your phone whilst walking in icy conditions.

Watch out for melted snow and ice

When walking on pavements, be wary of patches of melted snow and ice. They may look suitable to walk on, but could be very slippery.

Don’t take shortcuts

Walk on designated pavements and be careful when taking shortcuts over piles of snows, and where ice removal is not feasible.

Whilst walking, look ahead and continuously plan your route.

Check your walking stick

If you use a walking stick or cane for assistance, be sure to check it is suitable for icy conditions. If not, the cane could hinder your ability to steady yourself when slipping.