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Avoiding Slips and Falls in Winter Weather

Avoiding Slips and Falls in Winter Weather

If you’ve ever walked down Main Street in downtown Buffalo during the winter, then you know all about the struggle that Buffalonians face just getting around town in our notoriously nasty weather. The sidewalks are icy. The snow is blowing in your face. The wind coming off the lake is almost strong enough to knock you off your feet, and you’re already using every muscle in your body to focus on not slipping and falling over.

When the temps drop below freezing and the lake effect moves in, WNYers get all bundled up in puffy winter coats and almost look like penguins waddling across a sheet of ice. And therein lies a best-kept secret for staying on your feet this winter and avoiding slips and falls: embrace your inner penguin.

Surely you’ve utilized the waddling technique to walk across an icy path before, but it wasn’t until we saw this peculiar Today article that we realized how effective the penguin walk can be.

According to the penguin philosophy, taking small steps and keeping your center of gravity under your front foot are the keys to success for wintry walking. And remember, if you do feel like you’re about to fall, try to curl yourself up and absorb the impact with the fleshier parts of your body. Putting your arms out and trying to catch yourself usually ends in a broken wrist or bruised knees, but if you use a tuck-and-roll technique and let that thick winter jacket help cushion your fall, you might come out of it without serious injuries. And above all else, always try to protect your head, as head injuries tend to be the most serious and life-threatening.


Next time you’re heading out to your favorite restaurant or even just walking to your car after work, remember that staying safe could be as easy as walking like a flightless bird.

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