Walking is an easy and low-impact way to maintain good health. Many doctors recommend it. But if you take a walk and slip on snow or ice, you might be laid up recovering for awhile. Here are some ideas on keeping yourself safe while you walk on Bellingham's many sidewalks and paths during the winter months.
Keep to the sidewalk whenever possible.
Even if you have to trudge through some snow, you're safer on sidewalks. If you must walk in the street, walk facing into traffic and stay as close to the curb as possible. If a driver has to stop quickly on snow or ice to avoid hitting you, you may be injured even if the driver isn't impaired or distracted. Make decisions that err on the side of caution.
Choose the right footwear and pay attention.
Walking on snow and ice can be, well, slippery! Wear shoes or boots with good tread. And if you're on your phone, how are you going to see snow and ice even if you are wearing good shoes? Ice can hide under snow, and black ice can be hard to spot. So tread lightly and pay attention. Improve your ability to travel safely by wearing boots with good treads. Watch where you step before placing your feet – don’t let yourself be distracted by your phone or other devices.
Use extra care when crossing roads.
Cars and trucks passing over snow melt it, and that can turn to ice when the temperature drops. Intersections and other high-traffic areas can rapidly become icy after a snowfall. If you're about to cross at a crosswalk, make sure the cars and trucks that are stopping are giving themselves enough time to avoid a skid. It makes sense to wait a little longer so you can be sure the drivers can safely, fully stop. If a driver is distracted or impaired, you are especially vulnerable to situations that can turn deadly.
Here are a couple links to Bellingham-area walking trails and paths: