Staying Safe on Ice

Staying Safe on Ice bb3 Sep 13, 2012

By Staff Writer State Farm™ Employee

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In a Canadian winter, you’re likely to come across icy conditions, whether on the sidewalk or on the streets. These tips can help you stay safer when it’s slick outside.

Safer walking on ice

  • Assume surfaces will be slippery. Look slightly ahead on the sidewalk. Looking directly down might cause you to miss an upcoming hazard.

  • Take shorter steps and keep your feet flat on the ground. Point your toes outward—like a penguin—and make your stance wider, bending your knees slightly.

  • Go slowly, shuffling if necessary to maintain contact with the surface.

  • Select footwear with good tread, or wear ice traction devices on your shoes.

  • Never walk with your hands in your pockets. Instead, hold your arms slightly out from your body to keep your balance.

  • Stay on the regular walkway as much as possible. If you must move to the street to avoid an icy patch, walk facing traffic and return to the sidewalk as soon as safely possible.

  • Take care getting into or out of a vehicle. Use the vehicle to stabilize your balance.

  • If you feel yourself falling, try to relax your muscles to help minimize your injuries. Try to land on your side and not directly on a hip, knee or wrist—common locations for ice-related injuries.

Safer driving on ice

  • Safety begins before you start your car: Check your tire pressure and tread regularly throughout the winter to see that both are sufficient.  Make sure all windows are clear of snow and ice before you begin driving.

  • Watch for bridges and overpasses, where ice tends to form first. Slow down earlier than usual as you approach an intersection. This gives you more reaction time in uncertain conditions.

  • Brake or steer to correct a skid—but don’t do both at the same time. Harsh steering and braking, when done together, can increase the skid.

  • If your car has an antilock braking system (ABS), press the pedal down steadily in a skid but don’t pump. If you don’t have ABS, the opposite is true: Pump the brakes; holding them down will cause the wheels to lock.

  • Steer gently in the direction you want to go. Don’t turn so rapidly that you have to overcorrect the other way, which could intensify your skid.

Your best safety bet on winter sidewalks and roads: Slow down.

The Canada Safety Council offers more tips for walking safely on ice. Learn about driving in winter  from Transport Canada.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under any policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.