5 Ways to Avoid Winter Falls

Dec 1, 2011

By Staff Writer State Farm™ Employee

Do you know what to do when you encounter an icy parking lot or a slippery stretch of sidewalk? Help prevent painful slips and falls with these pointers:

1. Wear smart shoes. Before heading outdoors, slip your feet into flat shoes or boots that offer good traction. (Look for textured soles made of nonslip rubber or neoprene with grooved soles.) Steer clear of footwear with smooth soles or heels. Consider using products that attach to your shoes for added traction.

2. Modify your gait. Walk with your knees slightly bent, set your feet widely apart and point your toes outward. Shorten your stride and walk slowly to safely navigate the icy path. If you’re on a strict timeline, plan accordingly and leave early.

3. Maintain your balance. Walk with your arms held out to your sides. Avoid carrying anything heavy—it can throw off your balance. When walking up or down steps, grip the handrail.

4. Beware of “black” or “clear” ice. Looks can be deceiving. Even if a surface appears clear, proceed with caution. When it’s cold outside, extra-thin and very slippery layers of ice can form.

5. Break a fall. If you feel yourself falling backward, tuck in your chin to protect your head as much as possible. If you feel yourself falling forward, avoid the urge to use your arms to break your fall—you may do more harm to your body than good. Try to land on a part of your body with more padding, such as your buttocks. Wearing a bulky winter coat can provide an extra layer of protection.

Learn more about being a safe pedestrian this winter with these tips from the University of Wisconsin. 

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under any policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.

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