What Precautions Should I Take When Walking on Ice?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 23 January 2020
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When walking on ice, it is generally very important not to walk too quickly and to wear shoes with good traction. Many experts also suggest that people can avoid injury by taking short mincing steps instead of long strides that carry too much weight. Watching the ground while walking on ice can help you avoid particularly treacherous areas, and that can be crucial to preventing a fall. Another important consideration is to avoid walking on ice in frozen lakes because of the danger of breaking through the ice and drowning or suffering hypothermia.

Walking carefully and mindfully is a lot of help when walking on ice, and good shoes can give you a little bit of an edge. Shoes with a lot of traction on the bottom can sometimes help you avoid falls, especially if that ice is covered in snow that the shoes can dig into. Some shoes can help in the same way that snow tires help when driving. Ice is sometimes so slippery that good shoes aren't enough, but a small improvement is generally better than nothing.

Hills are especially treacherous when walking on ice, and it is generally better to avoid them if you can. When you are forced to walk up a hill, look for a way to do it that doesn't require you to actually move up a slant. For example, stair steps would generally be much better than some kind of steep incline.


It's easy to injure yourself when walking on ice, but you can lessen the extent of your injuries by learning to deal with falls better. For example, some martial arts teach people ways of lessening the chance of injury when falling. It may seem like too much trouble to learn special methods of falling just to avoid getting hurt when walking on ice, but it may be worth it to some people. The basic idea behind the martial arts techniques is usually to avoid breaking the wrists by trying to stop the fall with your hands and to protect the head by tucking it into your chest, but these methods generally take a lot of practice to master.

One of the most dangerous ways to get hurt when walking on ice is to fall into a frozen body of water like a lake. This can potentially kill someone very quickly because of the cold temperatures of the water. Sometimes it is safe to travel over a frozen lake, but it takes a lot of knowledge to know when the ice is thick enough, and experts generally recommend that people avoid frozen lakes under most circumstances because of the uncertainty.


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