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With winter in full effect in Minnesota, it’s important to know how to stay safe and injuryfree during snowy and icy conditions. Inclement weather brings with it spikes in hospital visits and sidewalkrelated injuries. A few simple precautions against slip-and-fall injuries can keep you upright and out of the ER.

Pace Yourself

After the snow falls, travel will be slower. Allow yourself more time in commuting and walking. When testing a new surface, take slow, deliberate steps. Even if it seems safe, remain cautiousice patches may be covered by snow or difficult to see. Don’t let your guard down once you’re inside; wet, slushcovered floors can be just as dangerous.

Taking a few extra minutes might save you hours or even days in the long run. Injuries due to slipping can lead to loss of work or an inability to perform daily tasks for an extended period.

Dress the Part

Having the right gear during winter makes the difference. Sometimes that means throwing a certain amount of pride aside when we bundle up. Even if you have an important meeting or significant social engagement, wear winter boots with good traction while outdoors. You can swap out footwear once inside and still make the right impression.

Wear mittens or gloves. We like to put our hands in our pockets for warmth but in treacherous conditions, you’ll want them at your side for balance. Having them covered will keep your fingers warm and will protect your hands in the event of a fall.

Walk Like a Penguin

Science tells us that emulating the way penguins walk can significantly reduce our chances of falling. To embrace your inner penguin:

Keep your knees bent
Angle your feet out slightly and keep them flat to the ground
Maintain center of gravity over your feet as much as possible
Leave your arms loose at your side for balance

From there, perform a slow waddle with small steps, keeping relaxed the whole time and re-shiftingweight to your lead leg.

Tuck and Roll

If you do slip and fall in wintry conditions, catching yourself as gracefully as possible can make the difference between a few bruises and serious injury. The operative words are tuck and roll.

If you feel yourself going down, tuck your body in to absorb the impact in the soft areasnot the spine or knees.
Tuck your chin and position your head away from the impact.
Do not try to catch yourself with your arms; this could lead to a broken wrist or worse.

Have You Suffered Winter Slip-and-Fall Injuries?

If you’ve slipped and fallen this winter, you probably have questions, especially if the fall affected your ability to work. A personal injury lawyer can advise you on issues of liability, medical bills and much more. If you’re in Minnesota, we welcome you to contact us online today to connect with a caring attorney who can guide you through the legal aspects of your slip-and-fall accident.