What do I do about not wanting to walk on the sidewalk in the winter despite my parents saying its safe after I had a fall a year ago?

I went to get the mail today after not checking it yesterday (Monday didn’t count because it was Boxing Day, and when holidays end up on a weekend postal workers get the Monday off). But due to a fall I had over a year ago on the sidewalk (Feb 19)-I didn’t really think the sidewalk was safe despite my parents saying so (it’s above freezing and melting)-so I walked in the bike lane instead. Going up the hill, I was facing the traffic, something I was taught by my Mom, when I delivered catalogues for (non-defunct department store) because one of the streets I delivered on didn’t have sidewalks. My parents said I should have walked on the sidewalk.

It just like I said I had a fall on Feb 19th, 2020 (And Mom had a worse fall and broke her wrist in Jan 2018 but that was an icier day) and I was in a pain for weeks, And yet my parents whom know I’m high pain tolerance, refused to take me to see anyone despite my contestant complaining about my pain. All they told me is “to put arnica gel” on but yet, like the Friday right before the Friday of the lockdown (March 13) people were saying one of my legs still looked swollen. And the sidewalk outside my classmates’ former place looked just as “safe” as the parents claim the sidewalk was today but there was a tiny patch of ice you couldn’t see until you had already fallen down.

I don’t even want to go out in the winter time if I have to wear boots because of having to wear two layers of socks (day socks+knee socks). I mean it’s okay if I’m going to be just getting in and out of Dad’s car and into/out of stores but I don’t know if it could do like a walk around the block or something because most of my other socks fall down on me when I do that).

Technically, I don’t even want to go out in the winter period (except for helping Dad with the groceries) because I don’t want to have a worse fall and hurt myself like Mom did in 2018 (broken wrist), or in May of 2007 when she got a broken ankle from falling down some stairs.

So what should I do about the walking to get the mail?

Oh (and the mail boxes I’m talking about is like these:

So, your parents may or may not be right about the sidewalk not being icy – you’d know that better than I, and it’s absolutely always a good idea to pay attention to the surface you’re walking on – but the bike lane is decidedly NOT safe to walk in.

First and foremost, bike lanes are for bicycles, and not all cyclists will notice that there’s a pedestrian in their space in time to avoid hitting you. Bike lanes are also at much higher risk of cars driving in them, especially when it’s snowy or wet and the road lines aren’t clearly visible, and while a bike-pedestrian crash can hurt, a car-pedestrian crash can kill.

But also, bike lanes are often at least as likely to be icy as sidewalks are – sometimes more so, as they can have slush left over from tires and runoff can collect near curbs.

So regardless of whether the sidewalks are perfectly safe, for your own safety (and that of bicyclists) please don’t walk in bike lanes. If you’re worried about traction on the sidewalks, you can get boots or shoes with better tread, or get traction cleats, which strap onto nearly any shoes to give you much better footing.

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I was wearing boots last year when I fell and as far as I could tell the sidewalk was “as safe” as my parents say it was today but yet I fell on the sidewalk. Because there was tiny bit of an ice patch you could barely see at a former classmate’s house. And to wear boots, I have to put on an extra pair of socks just to go check the mail because most of my other socks fall down on me in those boots.

But there’s literally only two choices either walk on the sidewalk and risk another fall (and Mom had a fall on icier day on the sidewalk coming home from church back in 2018 one Sunday she didn’t take the bundle buggy) or to use the bike lane and dealing with bikes-and during the winter almost no one uses bikes or adult trikes in the winter and all the houses on our street have driveways so there’s no reason for cars to use the narrow bike lane.

So because of both my fall and Mom’s I don’t even want to go out in the winter period since I don’t want a worse fall and hurt myself even worse (broken ankle, or broken wrist). I’m making an exception due to Dad needing my help but other then that-I don’t want to go out

PS: not that cyclists care if people are on the sidewalk either. Like back when my sister’s eldest dog was still alive, half the time, I would know that a bike was behind me on the sidewalk- was because of the dog’s behaviour craning to see what was behind me because most of the time, the cyclists didn’t even care to say something like “excuse me!” or even have a bacon bell on their bike to ring.

Not all boots have good treads or provide good traction. If your are loose enough that you need extra socks to wear them, then may I suggest getting a new pair of boots that fits you better and has excellent traction, for your peace of mind and security?

Seriously, bike lanes are more dangerous for pedestrians than sidewalks are. If you don’t know many people who have fallen in bike lanes it’s likely because people don’t walk in them (in some places, it’s illegal to walk in a bike lane when a sidewalk is also present) so haven’t had much chance to fall.

Your best bets for winter walking safety are to get shoes/boots that fit you well and have excellent traction (or get traction cleats to strap onto other properly fitting footwear), and to carefully watch your step and footing.

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The bike lane will be just as icy as the sidewalk. All you’re doing is endangering yourself and bikers.

Also, in my experience, knee-high socks are less likely to fall down.

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in my experience the sidewalks are more icy (in freezing circumstances) then the bike lane because of the bacon fools who apparently are all car-obbessed and drive everywhere and doesn’t give a hoot about pedestrians who might want to walk past there house. I mean the only good thing about the “new” people at classmate’s former house is they at least clear off the snow between the corner of the street and their driveway something (classmate’s family didn’t do).

Tips for walking on ice:

  • Bend slightly and walk flat footed
  • Point feet out slightly like a penguin
  • Keep your centre of gravity over your feet
  • Watch where you’re stepping
  • Take shorter, shuffle-like steps
  • Keep arms down and out of pockets

Also, why do you post in the AIBU section if you usually end up editing it to another category later?

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I thought my parents thought I was being unreasonably at first and wanted people’s opinions. But I changed my mind for it to be a discussion instead.

  1. I can’t really do flat footed and I’m having an difficult time in bending my knee when Mom tries to get me to do some exercises.

  2. I already have my feet out like a penguin all year long but Mom complains about me doing that and wishes I would point my feet straight.

  3. Don’t know about that one “keeping gravity over your feet”

  4. Due to non-icy falls from when I was a child and teen from before I got classes, I’m always watching where I’m going-(ok the day I fell in 2020-I didn’t but I was running late to my volunteer job)

  5. My Mom’s always bringing up after we go to (city) of “how well I did” the time it took us forever to get home from the commuter train in 2014. Not only did we have to take shorter, shuffle-like steps, but we had to occasionally walk in the road (it was after 10pm at night) because of how bad the sidewalk was.

  6. I always have my arms out just so I’m able to catch myself if I fall but I have heard from people that apparently you’re now suppose to land on your elbow now rather then your hands or is that more bacon nonsense?

That is a very defensive answer to my question.

Your center of gravity is basically where most of the mass on your body is, and thus it’s the area that gravity affects the most. If you lean to the side, your mass and therefore the center of gravity shifts to the side. If you lean very far to the side, your center of gravity stops being above your legs, so either you need to support yourself with something else or you’ll fall over.

Normally, the center of gravity is right over your heels. To better support yourself on ice, you bend your knees and lean forward. That pushes the center of gravity down and forward, which gives you a little more leg support. This is why people in sports that require balance, like skiing, usually have that bent-knees and leaning forward posture (though you don’t need to go that extreme if you’re just walking).

Also, keeping your arms out isn’t to catch yourself but to help keep your balance. You know, like how people walking on a tightrope or a really narrow bridge keep their arms out.

Falling on your elbow sounds like a terrible idea. That being said, it’s better to break your arm than your head or neck, so if you fall, try to keep your arms in front of your head. If you’re worried about technique, some places will teach you how to fall to reduce pain and injury.

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sorry wasn’t meaning to be defensive.

Generally, “ever heard of [common thing]” is read as hostile/defensive.

Speaking as someone who tripped and landed on both elbows, breaking them both, I can confirm that it certainly was for me.

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I had a fall a few years ago that really scared me; no broken bones, but I was sore for over a week. I started using hiking poles (they look a lot like ski poles) when I walk. I got a cheap pair for $20, and I love the extra stability and confidence I get, especially in winter. (No sidewalks here.) You also get an upper body workout and extra power in your step because you are using your arms to push down on a pole with every step.

If that is something that you are interested in trying, I can give you some tips and I’m happy to answer questions.


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