Avoiding Falls on the Ice

Walking on ice is extremely dangerous. Many cold-weather injuries result from falls on ice-covered sidewalks, steps, driveways, and porches.

Keep your steps and walkways as free of ice as possible using rock salt or another chemical de-icing compound. Sand may also be used on walkways to reduce the risk of slipping. In Oklahoma, we often experience "black ice," which is a term for a near-invisible layer of ice that can cover sidewalks and streets. If you're unsure about whether or not the sidewalk or street is slippery, walk slowly and cautiously with your feet pointing outward. This position actually helps you brace yourself better, and it helps protect you to some degree if you slip and fall.

The National Safety Council recommends taking the following precautions on potentially slippery surfaces: 

  • Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes or boots outside. Instead, wear flat shoes with slip resistant soles or rain/snow boots; both of these provide you with some degree of traction.  
  • Take short, flat steps. The heels and soles of your shoes should stay in contact with the ground as long as possible, providing you with maximum surface contact.
  • Remove your shoes or boots once you get inside. Snow and ice often stick to the soles of shoes and will melt almost immediately as your shoes begin to warm up. The result is a slippery surface and the risk of a fall.