winter pedestrian safety on ice

Utah may look like a winter wonderland, but the icy conditions can make walking dangerous. Slips and falls become more frequent and more dangerous during the colder months, so it is important to emphasize winter pedestrian safety. At Christensen & Hymas, we often see how slips and falls result in serious injuries. While helping accident victims recover their losses in personal injury cases, we have learned some helpful tips on staying safe in icy conditions.

Winter Pedestrian Safety: Helpful Tips

Many factors can contribute to making sidewalks dangerous this time of year. Here are some particularly dangerous things to look out for.

  • Black ice

Black ice is the term for a frozen layer of slippery ice on road surfaces and sidewalks. It is almost invisible at first glance, and catches you by surprise if you are not careful while walking. Slips on black ice can cause serious injuries, such as head injuries and broken bones.

  • Freezing rain

Freezing rain falls as liquid and then coats every surface it touches with smooth, hard ice. Utah had a memorable freezing rain storm in 2013. The video below of Brigham Young University students sliding on the ice went viral.

How to Stay Safe

As daunting as winter weather may be to pedestrians, there are ways to stay safe and upright on the ice.

  • Wear the right shoes

Wear shoes with rubber or neoprene soles when there is ice on the ground. They will have better traction on slick surfaces.

  • Take small steps

When it comes to winter pedestrian safety, it is all in the steps. Take small steps, almost to the point of shuffling, making sure to keep your feet flat as you walk.

  • Do not build momentum

If you are walking on the ice, accept that you may get to your destination a little slower than usual. It’s important not to build up too much momentum, so that if you do fall, there will be a softer impact. As you shuffle, take moments to stop before moving on.

Utah Personal Injury Attorneys

At Christensen & Hymas, we regularly help clients recover from slip and fall accidents. Accidents like these can lead to traumatic injury and often require a lengthy recovery period. Our personal injury attorneys can help you win a settlement that will cover your increasing medical bills. Contact us for a free, no-strings-attached consultation, and we will get to work for you.