Safety Tips for Winter Walking - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Friday, 17 November 2017

Safety Tips for Winter Walking

#AskJoshuaHimel

Whether you prefer to hike along a wilderness trail or a walk along a scenic street in a city such as Toronto, Ontario offers you many options from which to choose. There is no better time to enjoy the outdoors than during the winter, but the bitterly cold weather of Canada can be a challenge. Cold weather does not mean you have to stay indoors as long as you follow a few winter walking tips to stay safe.

Dress for success

Frostbite is always a danger when venturing outdoors in the winter. You can protect your skin and stay comfortable while walking by exposing as little skin to the elements as possible. Some precautions you should take when getting dressed to go out include:

  • Wear layers of clothing and add or remove items as you warm up or cool down during your walk.
  • Favour moisture-wicking materials for your base layer of clothing to allow perspiration to evaporate to keep you dry.
  • Add a second layer of clothing made of wool for warmth.
  • The outer layer of clothing should be made of a material that is waterproof and can prevent wind from penetrating.
  • Wear gloves or mittens, a knit hat and ear muffs.
  • Use a scarf or cold-weather mask to cover your mouth and face.

The shoes you wear can go a long way toward keeping you safe and comfortable on winter walks. Winter boots should offer stability and have a non-slip sole with low heels. They should be lightweight, insulated for warmth and waterproof. If your walks take you over ice and packed snow, you might wish to add a pair of removable ice grippers to your walking gear.

Other equipment you might consider bringing along on your walk or hike might include:

  • Use walking sticks for stability and balance.
  • Add reflective tape or a clip on light to clothing to increase the ability of drivers to see you in the evening and at night.
  • If you use a cane when walking, add a pick device to the end of it to prevent it from slipping on ice and snow.
  • When you plan to be out after dark, bring a flashlight to illuminate your path.

You might not consider it necessary when going for a walk or a hike in the winter, but you should apply sunscreen before heading outside. Sunlight radiating off white snow can give you a severe sunburn.

Tips for walking on icy surfaces

The best advice for walking on ice is to avoid doing it. Icy surfaces are difficult and dangerous to walk on for anyone not wearing ice grippers or other traction aids. If you cannot avoid the ice, walk slowly and keep your feet apart for stability. Take small, deliberate steps and plant one foot before moving your other one.

Older adults can decrease their risk of suffering a hip fracture in a fall on ice or snow might consider wearing a device specifically made to protect the hip area. Hip protectors are available as a strap-on pad or pants with padding in the hip area.

Slipping on ice might be someone’s fault

The law makes property owners liable for snow and ice left on sidewalks. If you are injured in a fall on a walkway or parking area that was not properly maintained, the personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamondhave years of experiencing helping accident victims recover compensation for their injuries. Don’t delay, contact our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices located throughout Ontario.

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