In cold, wet conditions, common dangers include slips and falls, as well as vehicle accidents. Taking simple precautions and careful preparation can help prevent accidents and injuries this winter.
Areas that may become slick and require extra caution include stairs, ramps, tile floors, parking lots and metal parts of equipment.
• Have an excellent snow and ice removal program in place.
• Place non-skid floor mats and caution signs in slippery, high traffic areas.
• Use traction devices that strap onto shoes when conditions require them.
• Use the right shoes. Anti-slip soles are essential.
• Slips can happen when entering and exiting your vehicle, so be cautious. Use a three-point stance when getting in and out of your vehicle. Use a grab-bar or door frame for stability.
• Be aware that the vehicle itself can lose traction, causing uncontrolled skids.
− When roads are slick, slow down, leave extra following distance between yourself and other cars and do not make sudden vehicular movements.
− If you begin to skid, turn the wheel in the direction you want the vehicle to go. Ease your foot off the accelerator, and do not hit the brakes.
• Know the weather conditions you will encounter and plan ahead.
• Inspect your vehicle for proper tires and other winter driving gear.
• Be sure that chains and cold weather gear are on board and ready for use.
• Assume that roads, bridges and exits are icy, and be ready for them.
• Keep lights, windows and mirrors clean. This is especially important in low visibility situations such as darkness, ice or fog.
• If pulling over due to an emergency, increase your visibility to passing traffic. Activate the vehicle’s hazard warning lights, wear your safety vest, set up a warning triangle or flares and assume that ongoing traffic does not see you.
Remember, ice is twice as slippery at 30˚F as at 0˚F.