How To Not Slip On Ice?
Icy conditions frequently lead to slips and falls. However, there are steps you can take to lower your risk of injury. If you must venture outside in icy conditions, adhere to the advice below.
Table of Contents
Tips For Avoiding Slip
1. Move Slowly And Slowly
It’s obvious that instinct and common sense take over the moment you approach the slippery surface, alerting us to the fact that sprinting across an ice-covered driveway is both practically impossible and unwise. The adage “slow and easy wins the race” is correct, right?
Indeed, according to Philip E. According to Martin, Ph.D., professor at Iowa State University and chair of the department of kinesiology, reducing forward and backward force is crucial when walking on ice. “As he tells Mental Floss, “The key is trying to keep force applied to the ground more vertically so there’s less force forward and backward—because that’s the part that requires friction.”
2. Take Shorter Steps
Practically speaking, what does lessening forward-and-backward force mean? We reduce the forces acting on the ground in both the forward and backward directions by taking shorter steps. Martin explains that as a result, we’re not exerting as much force and are “adapting our gait to work with the reduced friction that’s available to us.”
3. Avoid Melting Ice
Mark Fahnestock, a glaciologist and research professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has been studying glaciers and ice sheets for the past few decades and has spent time in Alaska at -40°F. He says that how slippery ice becomes can vary by temperature—so being aware of temperatures can help you figure out how easy or challenging it may be to cross ice. “At 0°F or -20°F, he tells Mental Floss, it is simpler to walk on ice. “When ice is really melting, it is much more slippery.”
That’s due to a surface layer of molecules that “becomes more pronounced” in warmer temperatures, he says, and that behaves like a film of water. However, this isn’t to say you won’t ever slip on ice the colder the temperature gets; he emphasizes, “It’s not that it’s not slippery, it’s just that it’s not as slippery as when it’s warmer.”
4. When Possible, Avoid Sloughs And Stairs
Also, pay attention to the ground you’re about to step on. One thing is a flat surface, but according to Fahnestock, “if it’s slanted where your foot meets a driveway, for example, it’s not holding your weight; rather, it’s your weight that’s causing your foot to move.”
“Martin warns that gravity will act whether you like it or not, particularly if there is an icy slope that slopes sharply downward. Sadly, you probably won’t be able to alter your gait in this situation to prevent slipping, so it will probably result in a score of Ice 1, Human 0.
Although we know it’s not always possible to avoid them, stairs can make navigating ice even more dangerous. If you encounter icy steps, use handrails, keep your hands out of your pockets, and proceed slowly, advises Iowa State University in their helpful tips for walking on ice.
5. Await Changing Surface Changes
Then there are situations where we may not notice a change in the outward appearance. If, however, while walking on a straight, dry surface, you unexpectedly come across an icy patch, Martin advises not to worry. You quickly adjust your gait as a result of the sudden change in the maximum friction force. Yes, you might make a mistake at first because it catches you off guard, but as Martin notes, “humans are pretty adaptable and recognize challenges quickly.” Unconsciously, we may pay more attention to surface features than we realize, and we automatically modify our stride patterns.
6. Wear The Right Shoes
Not to mention the advantages of wearing the right footwear. Martin advises people to think about the material properties of a shoe, pointing out that a rigid leather sole is not recommended because it provides a noticeably weaker grip than a rubber sole. Obviously, traction-enhancing treads, cleats, or spikes can also be helpful.
Researchers are looking into how different consumer boots perform in terms of traction. In their WinterLab, where they study slips and falls on an entirely ice-covered floor, a team of researchers at iDAPT, the research arm of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute—University Health Network, tested and graded the slip resistance of close to 100 boots and spikes. While the researchers gradually increase the angle of the floor until the tester slips, test subjects wearing safety harnesses move back and forth across the ice. The “maximum achievable angle” is the angle at which they slip: The better the slip resistance, the greater the angle.
More than 80% of the boots they’ve evaluated—including those from well-known manufacturers like Timberland, Sorel, and Terra—didn’t perform well enough on the MAA to receive even one “snowflake” on iDAPT’s three-snowflake scale. Three snowflakes, or Stabil spikes, are in first place and are attached to regular shoes or boots.
7. Don’t Carry Additional Weight
In the winter, it’s best to navigate an icy surface without being slowed down by additional weight. Avoid carrying too many items to prevent a dangerous slip and subsequent fall. Your body’s natural balance is upset by the extra weight, which increases your risk of suffering a serious fall on the ice.
8. Control Your Fall
You can prevent slipping on an icy surface if you are precise enough. But not all of life’s endeavors are foolproof, as is the case with many things. Don’t panic if you do slip on some ice. Your body has a built-in ability to balance itself, allowing you to control how far you fall.
Try your best to bend your knees when you fall. By doing so, you’ll be able to withstand some of the blow. Take charge in terms of your reaction time; the fall will occur quickly, but the damage from the collision can be minimized.
The human eye can be quite deceiving when looking at ice on a surface. You want to take all necessary precautions to guarantee that you can cross it safely and that you are both aware of its presence. Take your time; in the long run, your body will appreciate it!
What To Do When You Slip On Ice
Breathe Easy And Check In
It’s critical to wait a moment before attempting to stand up after slipping on ice. Our bodies are under a lot of stress when we fall, particularly when we strike a hard surface like an icy driveway. Breathing will help to calm down and concentrate the body and mind, enabling the person to properly assess injuries prior to getting up.
Slowly Stand Up Or Just Remain Seated.
Check in with each body part by attempting to wiggle it just a little or by lightly touching it with your hands. It’s usually best to try to stay put and call for assistance if there is any pain. Get up only if the pain is not too severe. Try gently rolling or scooting to a safer location if getting up isn’t an option and you’re in a hazardous location, like the middle of the road.
In these subzero temperatures, it’s crucial to prevent hypothermia. It gets worse if you’re lying flat on the ice because the cold ground will quickly absorb your body heat. Hypothermia, which itself poses a serious risk to life, can result from the loss of too much heat. Even when immobile, a person can still make an effort to stay warm by making as many wide arcs with their arms and legs as they can.
Seek Post-fall Medical Attention
After slipping on ice, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention from a doctor. Micro-fractions, which can cause long-term injury and chronic pain, can occur even when the body seems to be functioning normally. Following a significant fall, make sure to get a medical checkup. This shouldn’t be necessary, of course, if the person is able to stand and move around. A professional should be consulted as soon as possible for anything that feels more serious than that, though.