Why Do People Fall…on Ice and Snow?

Boot on Cracked Ice

Everyone living in colder climates have a shared experience…slipping or falling on slippery ground. Some are just embarrassed, getting up, brushing themselves off, hoping no one may have witnessed their likely helpless or awkward trip, or perhaps expletive. These folks are the more fortunate. Others are injured suffering through days or longer with pain. And then there are those who are seriously hurt needing medical treatment for broken bones, concussions, and even worse, permanently disabling injuries.

The slip/fall injury statistics are as cold as a Wisconsin winter. Every winter season there are multiple thousands of slip/fall accidents in Wisconsin, and we know most certainly, with the next winter season the new accident data will populate revealing thousands more. There are many reasons of course reported, harsher than average weather cycles, or the newer winter phrase “polar vortexes”.

However, let’s consider a slip/fall accident analysis that revealed some compelling information. In over 60% of the accidents, the type of footwear the injured was wearing had been suspected of contributing to the slip/fall. The shoes or boots the victims were wearing were better for June than January! If you’re old enough, you may remember your parents getting the snow tires on the car before winter. Today, most tires are rated for all-season. Among vast engineering improvements on how tires are manufactured, their tread design affords better ‘traction’ on water and snow. The point is, consider the type of footwear you will wear for winter: If the soles have no treads there’s no traction. You greatly elevate the odds of descending…to the ground. And there are many types of soles that offer more slip-resistance. Conversely, leather sole dress shoes, high-heel, or other types popular for only fashion or comfort, are often not the safest to wear during snowy and icy conditions.

Reduce your odds of joining the winter slip/fall injury statistics; Choose your footwear wisely.