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How To Take A Fall Without Serious Injury

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A thin layer of ice proved to be hard to handle for anyone who went outside Tuesday.

Slipping and sliding was certainly the order of the day. From roadways to sidewalks, it was a bit scary.

The thin layer of ice that coated highways and interstates proved dangerous for anyone out and about.

A fender bender caught on traffic management cameras near Highway 169 and 114th Avenue is an example of how hard it is to stop when the pavement is icy.

If you think driving was bad, try navigating a slick sidewalk on foot. People are doing all they can to stay upright on slick pavement. From holding on to walls, to catching the arm of the person you're with, it's not easy to walk after sleet invades.

"Sometimes I go in the middle of the street on the side, you know, and walk in the street where it ain't slippery at," said pedestrian Curtis Kindred.

Icy Sidewalks
(credit: CBS)

Whether walking in the street or sidewalk, most found themselves doing the "penguin shuffle" to get around.

"I nearly face-planted right in front of the Target Center," said Dr. Gudren Mirick from Hennepin County Medical Center.

Dr. Mirick says the emergency room is busy with people who have fallen. Her department, orthopedics, has seen about a dozen people looking for help after a fall.

"Ankle fractures for the general public are the most common. Rotational ankle injuries, where the foot just slides up from under them and kind of twists as they go down," Dr. Mirick said. "As you get into the older population, wrist fractures, hip fractures, even some pelvic fractures."

Dr. Mirick says learning how to fall can prevent serious injury.

"Most of us, our first thought is to stick your wrist out, which tends to lead to a nice distal radius fracture," Dr. Mirick said. "Certainly trying to brace yourself if possible with both arms, or even kind of, if you were going to slip, kind of tuck and kind of hit the side of your body is going to have a little bit less impact, though quite a bit of bruising."

She says shoe selection is important when sleet and ice take over. Doctors are seeing lots of flats, heals and shows with no traction.

This is the best time to wear winter boots or buy some tracks to help keep you grounded when the ice comes.

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