How to Walk on Ice

Posted on February 12, 2013  Comments (6)

infographic explaining how to walk on ice - walk like a penguin

Infographic by Tablet. Falling on ice leads to many injuries and even 60 deaths a year in the USA (about the number that will die due to tornados). The graphic encourages thinking like a penguin. Penguins walk well on ice (in some ways) and they also fall well.

Seeking to keep your weight well supported (short strides) is wise (and sliding instead of picking up your feet can help). Falling well is also important. It is basic physics, you want to lower your center of gravity if you are start to slip and avoid any excessive force (so sliding is better than trying to stick out your hand and support all your weight). The elderly are especially susceptible to injuries – avoiding taking direct shocks to the wrist, knees or hips is wise). It does seem kind of silly to learn how to fall but it is very helpful in avoiding injuries.

On sidewalks if you are going to fall and there is snow piled up off the sidewalk, falling into the pile of snow may well be softer than falling directly onto the sidewalk.

On ice you have lower friction so strategies that require friction are not useful – quick moves often rely on very sturdy bases (which are based on the friction of our shoe on for example concrete [which normally is good – though business shoes are not very good] and on ice [where it is very poor – sliding and gradual moves are better]).

Related: Falling SafelyMinistry of Silly WalksMake Crosswalks More VisibleWhy Wasn’t the Earth Covered in Ice 4 Billion Years Ago – When the Sun was DimmerScience Toys You Can Make With Your Kids

6 Responses to “How to Walk on Ice”

  1. Paul
    February 16th, 2013 @ 1:23 am

    I have fallen a lot of times walking on ice both as a kid and an adult, but I was ignorant of its harmful aspect. I am really scared after reading this post, I mean how careful can one be while walking, and what will those people do who have to walk on ice daily, its like facing deadly circumstances daily.

  2. Muku
    February 24th, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

    The illustration is great! Placing a socket over the shoe is also a good idea. 60 deaths per year in the US, that’s a lot…

  3. Patrick
    March 21st, 2013 @ 8:56 am

    I have fallen while walking on the ice manytimes and nothing works. I once fell down from the stairs because I slipped and that was because of the ice. No one thinks so much while walking!

  4. Miguel
    April 19th, 2013 @ 6:55 am

    I’ve never think before how much people die a year because of that…60 wow! Nice ilustration by the way!

  5. Hugo
    May 16th, 2013 @ 2:45 pm

    Nice tip here.

    Though it kind of sounded silly that I was reading and learning on how to “fall safely”, but on a second thought, it’s an important and life-saving skill to put in your kitty, considering the fact that “not falling safely” snuffs life out of about 60 people per year -scary stats.

    Thanks for the tips once again.

    Will be returning to learn more tips.

    Nice blog here!!

  6. eddie
    June 19th, 2013 @ 10:09 am

    60 people a year die due to slipping on ice? That’s crazy, never in my life would I imagine that it would be such a high number. I’m going to have to start to walk like a penguin! lol

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