This is Part II of the series on avoiding both personal injury and liability due to winter weather. In the first part, we discussed some winter driving issues. In this installment, we’ll discuss staying on your feet, and making sure your guests do as well.
In Part I, we made the recommendation to purchase and install a set of snow tires on your car to give yourself addition bite on slippery roads. Just like your car transmits all of your intentions through the four contact patches of your tires, your body transmits all of its intentions about walking (if you’re lucky!) through the contact patches of your shoes. For this reason, it is obviously important to choose winter appropriate footwear before venturing out in the slush, snow, and ice. Deep treads are recommended, as are shoes with good ankle support to keep your feet squarely placed on the ground.
Winter driving strategies also have parallels when it comes to transiting by foot. Like you would in your car, look for those paths that are well-worn by previous pedestrians. Use caution in planting your feet when you are forced to cover areas of uncertain traction. Try to avoid carrying heavy loads that place you off-balance when you are required to cover slippery ground. Avoid the temptation to rush.
In addition to taking care of your own safety with regard to winter-time walking, you may also have a duty to take precautions for the safety of others. If you are a landowner or business owner, you have a duty to take all reasonable precautions to mitigate against foreseeable risks to guests. In the winter, that means making sure that the walkways that guests are likely to use are properly shoveled and treated to reduce their slipperiness.
In the next blog, we’ll provide additional tips for dealing with imminent loss of control when you are driving on wintery roads.