Depending on the region in which they live, most people look forward to having snow line their streets, sidewalks, and driveways. Although such scenes look beautiful, there are hidden dangers, particularly when changes in climate result in snow turning into ice. To help drive this point, we need only look at a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the data, an estimated 1 million people in America are injured each year due to falling on icy streets, sidewalks, or driveways. Tragically, about 17,000 of those injured individuals ultimately die from their injuries. Indeed, snow can beautifully decorate streets, sidewalks, and driveways. However, it can also make them exceptionally dangerous.

Whether it be on your very own walkway or while trekking city sidewalks, multiple injuries can occur if you lose your balance and fall on the ice; some are more common than others. According to several studies and further backed by the medical community, the most common injuries that people sustain after falling on the ice include the following:

  • Broken/Fractured bones
  • Back injuries
  • Head injuries (including concussions)
  • Muscle and ligament strains

Indeed, falling on the ice can sometimes lead to a lot more than just a bruised ego alone.  But there are ways to mitigate the risk of such falls occurring in the first place, say doctors with orthopedic urgent care centers across the U.S.

How to Prevent Slipping and Falling on the Ice This Winter

Having detailed some of the injuries that can stem from slipping and falling on the ice, let’s shift gears and discuss what we can do to lower the chances of it ever happening. According to a joint study conducted by the CDC and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the following can go a long way toward minimizing falling on the ice this winter:

  • Whether walking on snow or ice this winter, wearing proper footwear can make falling and suffering an injury a whole lot less probable.
  • Taking short, measured steps rather than long strides when walking on snow or ice is another excellent way to avoid falls.
  • In addition to taking short, measured steps, walking a bit slower while navigating icy streets or sidewalks can also help prevent falls.
  • If you own your home, sprinkling some deicer or sand on icy walkways or your driveway will lower the likelihood of you or your family suffering a fall this winter.

Bottom Line

In summary, while a white winter can be a beautiful sight to behold, it can also be a source of danger if we are not careful. That said, if you happen to slip and fall on the ice this winter and believe that you may have suffered one of the injuries detailed in this article, it would be in your best interest to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider. Ignoring injuries can lead to an increase in symptoms and potential arthritis in the future. Oftentimes your provider will order radiology studies to determine if any damage has occurred, and how severe that damage is. 

If you’re reading this article and need a radiology professional, The Radiology Clinic is here to meet your needs. At our practice, you’ll be scanned on the highest quality equipment with an examination protocol tailored to your specific needs. Our board-certified, fellowship-trained radiologists will read your examination promptly, and get you the results you need to make a decision about your health care. If you need care or have any questions, contact our team at 301-217-0500, or email us at