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5 Tips for Staying Safe While Walking When It’s Snowing

Winter brings the enchanting beauty of snow-covered landscapes in Wisconsin, but it also presents challenges when it comes to outdoor activities like walking. Snow and ice can create hazardous conditions for pedestrians, increasing the risk of slips, falls, and hypothermia.

You can enjoy a safe and pleasant winter stroll with the right precautions. If you are injured, contact a Green Bay Pedestrian accident lawyer to help with your case.

Wear Temperature-Appropriate Clothing

When venturing into the snowy outdoors, clothing is the first defense against the cold. Dressing appropriately can protect against conditions like hypothermia, helping you enjoy a safe winter walk. The best ways to stay warm with clothing include:

  • Layering: Layers are an excellent defense against the cold. When temperatures reach single digits, use a triple-layer system consisting of a moisture-wicking base layer, an insulating layer, and a waterproof and windproof layer.
  • Insulated Accessories: Don’t forget to cover your extremities. Wear insulated gloves or mittens, a warm hat, and a scarf to protect your face and neck. These accessories help prevent frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Proper Footwear: Invest in insulated, waterproof boots with ample insulation and a non-slip sole. Cold, wet feet can quickly lead to discomfort and frostbite, and the wrong sole often leads to slipping, so choose proper footwear for a safe journey.
  • Avoid Cotton: Cotton absorbs moisture, up to 27 times its weight in liquid water, and can make you feel colder when wet. Choose clothing with moisture-wicking materials like wool or synthetic fabrics to keep dry and warm.

Stick to Known Walkways

Snow can obscure hazards on the ground, such as uneven surfaces, debris, or hidden obstacles. Sticking to known walkways, sidewalks, and cleared paths is best to minimize the risk of tripping or falling. Snowplows and salt may make these areas safer for pedestrians, reducing the chances of encountering unexpected obstacles.

Before going out, plan your route. Stick to well-maintained pathways and places you are familiar with. If you must use unfamiliar areas that aren’t cleared, proceed cautiously and carefully test the ground for any hazards.

Wear on Slip- and Moisture-Resistant Footwear

Your choice of footwear can help with winter walking safety. Snow and ice create slippery conditions, increasing the risk of falls. The best boots for winter and icy conditions will have tread and traction. Specialized outdoor soles are designed to help you maintain balance and prevent slipping.

If you want more security, try attaching removable ice cleats to your boots. These provide additional grip on patches of ice to help you stay upright on slippery terrain. When buying boots, look for waterproof brands like Columbia. If you stay out in the cold too long with wet feet, you risk frostbite and hypothermia.

Wear Brightly Colored Clothing for Increased Visibility

During snowy conditions, visibility can be reduced, especially for drivers. In blizzard-like conditions, visibility can shrink to less than .25 miles.

Choose clothing and accessories in bright, contrasting colors to make yourself more visible to others on the road. This will help ensure that drivers can see you from a distance and take necessary precautions to avoid accidents.

Consider reflective gear such as vests, armbands, or tape for extra visibility. These items significantly enhance visibility, especially during low-light conditions.

Look Out for Slippery and Icy Surfaces

While walking in snowy conditions, stay vigilant and scan your surroundings for slippery or icy patches. Slipping and falling on ice near retail stores, in parking lots, and on sidewalks can result in serious injuries, like broken bones and head trauma. Precautions you can take include:

  • Walk Slowly and Carefully: Reduce your walking pace to avoid sudden slips or falls. Take shorter steps and walk with a slightly wider stance for added stability.
  • Test Surfaces: Before stepping onto a potentially icy surface, lightly tap it with your foot to gauge its slipperiness. If it seems treacherous, find an alternative route or take extra precautions.
  • Use Handrails: Always use handrails for support when navigating stairs or steep inclines. Take one step at a time, and avoid rushing.
  • Be Prepared to React: Keep your center of gravity low, and react quickly if you encounter a slippery surface. Try to maintain your balance and take controlled steps.

Protect Your Well-Being and Legal Rights this Winter

Walking in the snow can be a serene and enjoyable experience, but it also demands caution and preparation. Even with the best precautions, accidents can happen. If you suffer an injury from a slip and fall accident, speak with our attorney at Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers for skilled legal assistance.

Meet with us during a confidential consultation to share the circumstances of your accident and understand your legal rights. Contact us today to schedule your free case review.

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