Walking on Icy Surfaces

Ice and snow are a normal part of the winter weather, but the risks they create are often ignored. We can normally walk without thinking about each step as we are used to the friction between our shoes and the ground. When walking on icy surfaces, there is much less friction to keep you stable.

Slips, trips and falls are more common during winter, as a consequence of icy conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around one million Americans fall each year while walking on snow or ice, and 17,000 of these injuries are fatal.

Outdoor icy conditions are not always evident; a thick sheet of ice can be seen easily, but in many cases, ice is hidden under the snow. Air humidity can freeze on a walkway as a thin layer, which is difficult to see but slippery enough to make you fall. Do not assume you can step safely on a surface, even if ice and snow have recently been removed.

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