Advice for Pedestrians

If your usual walk from your home, route to work or area is affected by snow and/or inclement weather, you'll find some useful information in this section.

Walking on Snow or Ice

No matter how well the snow and ice is removed from car parks and footpaths, pedestrians will still encounter some slippery surfaces when walking outdoors in bad winter. Avoid boots or shoes with smooth soles and heels, such as runners. Instead, wear shoes or boots that provide traction on snow and ice; boots made of non-slip rubber or with grooved soles are best. Wear reflective armbands or vests so drivers can see you. Assume that all wet, dark areas on footpaths are slippery and icy. Dew or water vapor can freeze on cold surfaces, forming an extra-thin, nearly invisible layer of ice that can look like a wet spot on the footpath, so Walk on designated walkways as much as possible.

What to watch for

  • Be very wary of black ice. It is very possible that a thin sheet of transparent ice is covering your pathway/route.
  • Walk slowly and carefully and ensure that you have the appropriate footwear for your walk.
  • Walk with your hands out of your pockets and wear gloves so you can break a fall if you slip.
  • Wear high visibility clothing or carry a torch.
  • Wear a heavy, bulky coat that will cushion you if you should fall.
  • Walk only on designated walkways/paths. Spreading your feet out slightly when walking increases your balance.
  • Assume that all wet, dark areas on pavements are slippery and icy.
  • If you do fall backward, make a conscious effort to tuck your chin in, so your head won't hit the ground with force.