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Walking in Winter: Essential Safety Tips

Nov 7, 2022 Brown Moore & Associates Premises Liability

Although Charlotte may not see as much snow and ice during the colder months of the year as some states further north, it’s not immune to winter weather conditions.

You already know that driving in these conditions can increase your chances of being involved in an accident. You should protect yourself by limiting your driving during and immediately after winter storms, and you should generally proceed with caution when operating a motor vehicle on potentially icy or snowy roads.

However, we often place so much emphasis on warning about the dangers of driving in winter that we forget to discuss another important issue: the potential dangers of walking in snowy or icy conditions.

Don’t let a simple walk around your neighborhood result in an accident. Guard against being injured by keeping the following tips in mind:

Take it Slow

One of the best ways to minimize your chances of falling when walking on surfaces that may be icy is to “walk like a penguin.” This involves taking slow steps, reducing the length of your stride, and pointing your toes slightly outward.

Use Handrails

Always use handrails and other such safety boosters whenever they’re available if you’re walking around in winter. Wear gloves with strong grips to further enhance your safety.

Choose the Right Footwear

Choose footwear designed to provide traction in snowy and icy conditions if you have the option of doing so in winter. This may require buying a new pair of winter boots, but when you weigh the cost of new winter boots against the potential costs of being harmed in an accident, it’s clear this is a worthwhile investment.

Stay on Walkways

Don’t take shortcuts through snowy or icy areas when there are designated sidewalks and walkways available. Theoretically, snow will have been removed from these designated areas and they will have been treated with deicing agents. You’re taking a risk if you walk elsewhere in winter.

Keep Your Hands Out of Your Pockets

Many of us instinctively put our hands in our pockets to keep them warm when walking during the colder months. This is understandable, but it’s not wise from a safety standpoint.

Following these tips should help you avoid falling. However, if you do slip, having your hands in your pockets could prevent you from grabbing onto a handrail or otherwise breaking your fall.

(That said, it’s not always a good idea to thrust your hands forward in an attempt to break your fall when you’re already falling down. Many people accidentally injure their hands and wrists in slip and fall accidents this way.)

Unfortunately, while you can follow the advice here to maximize your safety when walking around Charlotte in winter, it’s possible to be injured because someone else was negligent. For example, maybe you’re walking on a designated walkway when you’re harmed in a slip and fall because a property owner didn’t apply a deicing agent in a timely manner.

Review your case with a member of our team at Brown Moore & Associates, PLLC if something like this ever occurs. We’ll explain whether you’re able to seek financial compensation by filing an insurance claim or lawsuit. To learn more, contact us online or call us at 704-335-1500.