When you think of winter injuries, a ski hill probably comes to mind first, followed by car accidents. While slipping and falling on an icy road might not seem detrimental, you can acquire a variety of serious injuries, like, broken bones, displacement of the joints, and damage to your back. This has become so common that there have been laws put in place, making people accountable for their property. Nowadays, businesses are obligated to take reasonable steps that ensure safety for those using their property. No one should wound up being permanently injured because a shopping mall didn’t tend to an icy parking lot in a timely manner to ensure public safety. To put it in perspective, there are lawyers that specifically deal with property owners who are negligent in their snow and ice safety practices.
In order to avoid an injury that can cause you to miss out on the slopes or work, here are some precautions to take this winter:
1 Choose slip grip shoes over vanity
Yes, it’s great to wear stiletto boots with your favorite work outfit to make you feel good, but don’t do it. Shoes or boots with slip grip soles might not be attractive, but you’ll thank yourself if you are presented with an icy pathway. The best advice is to take your favorite boots to work in your bag and change once you get inside and wear your slip grip shoes outside.
2 Use nordic poles
This may seem absurd if you live in a city, but it comes in handy in snowy and icy terrains where you would rather have the support instead of falling over with a busted hip. Nordic poles help keep you steady no matter what the terrain. An added bonus is if you have to climb over a heap of snow (thanks to snow plowing), you’ll know just how deep you’re going to fall.
3 Allow yourself extra time
If you’re running late, you are far more likely to get into an accident while driving or walking. If you’re driving, you’ll have to take into account that your car might need to warm up and that windows need to be scraped. If you’re walking, being able to take it slow will help aid in the prevention of an injury.
4 Stay aware
Even if most of the ice seems to have melted off, there might be spots that don’t get sun or areas where the ice is thicker than others. Watch the road diligently, avoiding any ice patches that might present themselves as an issue during your travels.
5 Shovel your driveway and sidewalks safely
The hidden danger of ensuring nobody slips and falls on your driveway is that you might put your back out while you’re shoveling snow. Bend your knees and take breaks when you get tired. This is the time to use those core muscles, instead of putting all the pressure onto your back.
6 Avoid the first week of ski hill opening
This is my own personal piece of advice based on what I saw when I lived in a winter ski resort. I worked at a large hotel and we would lose 10% of our staff during the first week of the season. This usually had something to do with the amount of snow on the mountain. It might have also had to do with an over-ambitious mind combined with underworked muscles from the ski/snowboard crowd. Whatever the reason, heading up the hill when the conditions aren’t great and people are still a bit clumsy sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.
7 Avoid 4 X 4 in ice and snow
Again, living in a winter wonderland, I saw some pretty bad practices from city people that had never used their 4 X 4 option. The road to most ski hills are windy, go uphill and downhill a lot, and usually have a sheet of white over them. For some reason, people felt safer putting their vehicle into 4 X 4 mode. It was usually the SUVs that ended up in the ditch because of that. What people don’t realize is that when your vehicle spins out while in 4 X 4 mode, all four tires spin out. It’s better to drive slow and steady in ice and snow and turn the 4 X 4 on your vehicle off.
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