Syracuse Area Health – Strasburger Orthopaedics

How to Safely Navigate Melting Snow and Ice

Every season has its own set of inconvenient (and sometimes dangerous) elements to deal with, and Spring is no exception. As we move into warmer weather, it is essential to be aware of the dangers that melting snow and ice may cause. To remain secure on slippery surfaces created by these conditions, there are several steps one can take.

Think Ahead

First, make sure to wear proper footwear for the conditions. Shoes or boots with good tread will provide more traction when walking on melting snow and ice. Additionally, if possible use an alternative route that avoids areas where melting snow and ice may accumulate. Keep an eye out for hard-to-spot icy patches while walking; they may not always be visible but it’s best to err on the side of caution. If you do find yourself having to walk through a patch of melting ice, walk slowly and carefully, and test your footing before taking each step. 

Take Protective Measures

Secondly, when shoveling snow and dealing with icicles, make sure to wear layers of protective clothing. If you’re using a ladder to reach the roof or any other elevated surfaces that may have melting ice, make sure to set it up on even ground and test for stability. Do not attempt to shake icicles off—instead, use an extension pole or broom handle to knock them down safely.

Drive Cautiously

Take extra precautions when driving on roads with melting snow and ice. Drive slowly when you can, as it can be difficult to maneuver on slippery surfaces. Increase your stopping distance to give yourself room in case of any potential skids, and be aware of black ice—a thin sheet of transparent ice that is hard to spot until you’re already on top of it. Of course, when possible, avoid going over any icy patches at all.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Finally, be aware of melting snow and ice-induced runoff when it rains. Melting snow can create standing water on sidewalks and roads, which can lead to potential slips and falls. If you find yourself in these situations, take extra care where stepping and try to avoid any areas with larger puddles.

Melting snow and ice can become hazardous quickly if one is not careful. By following these tips we can ensure our safety as the season progresses and warm weather takes over. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, pay attention to potential hazards, and take appropriate measures if needed! 

Slippery conditions significantly increase the risk of falls, sprains, and even broken bones. In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one falls victim to the elements, Dr. Strasburger can treat the injury and help you return to full functionality. Schedule a consultation here to learn more.

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