Walking through a winter wonderland sends an average of 40,000 people a year to the ER. Simple everyday tasks, such as walking or driving, become a dangerous activity the moment snow and freezing temperatures come into the equation. The most common injuries occur from:
- Falling on ice and snow
- Experiencing muscle strain from shoveling snow or scraping ice off the car
- Driving and motor vehicle collisions
Ice can be tricky. Sometimes what looks like a small puddle of water, or just wet pavement, actually turns out be a very slippery sheet of ice, that makes it impossible to keep your balance. And if the pain, and possible injury, that comes with falling isn’t enough, if there is a camera around, there’s a good chance you’ll end up on Youtube:
A few good tips to prevent going viral on youtube by an icy slip or fall are:
- Wear proper footwear made for icy and snowy conditions.
- Keep your stride shorter and avoid long steps.
- Slow things down — try not to rush or run outdoors.
- Keep de-icer or sand on hand for when things get slippery around your house.
Shoveling Snow/Scraping Ice off the Car
By far my least favorite activity when it’s cold out is shoveling snow or scraping ice off the car. For some reason, the scraper always seems to vanish and the long and slow process of removing ice from my windows with my credit card begins. A few ways to avoid pulling a muscle shoveling snow or scraping ice off the car are:
- Warm-up your body and do some light stretching
- Do not life more snow than you can handle. Lower back injuries are far too commonplace because of this
- Wear proper footwear
A study found that over a period of ten years, there were over 445,000 people injured as a result of weather-related vehicle collisions.
- Drive slowly.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly
- Increase your following distance to five to six seconds.
- Know your brakes.
- Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads will just make your wheels spin. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill slowly.
- Stay Home unless you need to go out
Following these tips will help prevent injuries, but know that injuries can still happen! Make sure you’re covered with the right Health insurance plan in case you find yourself in one of these situations! Fill out one of our online questionnaires to see what you qualify for or call us at 866-548-8498