How to stay safe on the ice? Walk like a penguin

Feb. 13, 2014 at 3:57 PM ET

Video: Fitness expert and stunt performer Amie Hoff shows the safe way to fall on snow and ice and stresses the importance of keeping your head and face away from the fall when possible.

Freezing cold temperatures, heavy blizzards and, worst of all, icy roads and sidewalks are threatening millions of Americans. With the slippery streets come awkward and often dangerous falls that can lead to bruised knees, sprained wrists, sore backs and even head injuries.

But good news: there is a way you can fall on ice safely. Amie Hoff, a fitness expert and stunt performer, showed TODAY the “tuck and roll” technique.

“People put out their hands. That's when they break the arms, the wrists,” she said.

Instead, if you feel yourself losing balance, tuck into a ball, make yourself as small as possible and keep your head and face away from the fall.

Slips and falls are the second-leading cause of unintentional deaths, according to the National Safety Council. And with the latest deep freeze covering much of the South and all the way to New England, it's time to be extra careful.

Here are some other tips for walking safely in the winter weather from the University of Utah and Iowa State University

  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination to avoid carelessness.
  • Wear shoes and boots with good traction.
  • Walk at a slower pace.
  • Stay on designated walkways.
  • Use the handrail when using stairs and entering and exiting buildings.
  • If you have to walk on ice, take short steps, bend slightly and walk flat-footed.

There's another way to avoid a dangerous splat on the ice: walk like a penguin. The waddle keeps your center of gravity over your front leg and will help keep you upright.

How to Walk On Ice