Winter Weather

Winter Walking Safety Tips

Avoid driving in icy conditions. Winter brings snow and ice. Ice may cover the roads, sidewalks, and parking lots, making them quite dangerous. No matter how well the snow and ice are removed from parking lots or sidewalks, you will encounter some slippery surfaces when walking outdoors in the winter. It is important for everyone to be aware of these dangers and to learn to walk safely on ice and slippery surfaces. Falls due to ice and snow are some of the most common injury-causing incidents on campus.

WALK SMART by learning and implementing these suggestions:

Walk at a slower pace–use a penguin-like gait in snow and ice. Spreading your feet out slightly while walking on ice increases your center of gravity.

Always stay on designated walkways–these walkways are cleared on campus, while taking shortcuts over snow piles and other frozen areas can be hazardous.

Look for, and avoid, slippery surfaces–assume that all wet, dark areas on pavements are slippery and icy, and approach with caution.

Know your limitations–carrying large packages or other items that limit vision can lead to slips and trips.

Schedule extra time–pay attention and don't rush. Most accidents occur due to inattention or being in a hurry.

Make use of handrails–on stairs, outdoor walkways, vehicles, and public transportation.

Always look for trip hazards or obstructions in the path of travel.

Remove snow or mud from shoes before entering any building.

Traction–make sure your footwear is appropriate and has good mobile traction. Avoid boots or shoes with smooth soles and heels. Instead, wear shoes or boots that provide traction on snow and ice; boots made of non-slip rubber or neoprene with grooved soles are best.

Lastly, be seen:

  • Wear visible clothing, especially at night or during heavy snow.

  • Wait for vehicles to stop completely before crossing the road.

  • Approaching vehicles may not be able to stop immediately due to road conditions.

If you fall, relax and try to fall as limply as possible. Try to avoid landing on your knees, wrists, or spine. Try to fall on a fleshy part of your body, such as your side. Avoid using your arms to stop your fall.

If you need immediate medical attention, call 911.

To report unsafe or dangerous areas, use the LiveSafe app’s TIP feature.