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Strategies for surviving the slippery ice

Published fredag 16 januari 2015 kl 13.38
Falling? "Not when I'm wearing these boots"
(3:39 min)
Slippery ice! Avoid! Avoid! Photo: Loukas Christodoulou
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Slippery ice! Avoid! Avoid! Photo: Loukas Christodoulou
The solution? Extra grips, aka "broddar". Photo: Loukas Christodoulou
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The solution? Extra grips, called "broddar" in Swedish. Photo: Loukas Christodoulou

With water covering the ice on the streets of much of Sweden, it is a dangerous time to be a pedestrian, and roads are often safer than pavements.

Roads usually get gritted, or cleaned of all ice, but thousands of walkers fall on the ice every year.

Minister for the Children and the Elderly, Åsa Regnér (Social Democrat), says this is an issue that disproportionally affects older people.

And Stockholm council agrees it is an issue about equality. The man in charge of keeping the streets of Stockholm safe is Daniel Helldén, Green Party councillor.

"It's an issue of accesibilty. And that affects women more, who are more likely to stay home as they're less likely to be car drivers. And for those in cars it's usually not impossible to drive. As long as they cut their speed a bit," he says to P4 Stockholm.

So Radio Sweden talked to some people out walking. To see whether they think it is dangerous to be out and about when the pavement is icy.

One pedestrian says when it is this slippery you have to be careful all the time: "If you're not looking carfully at the ground it's super hard," she says, and yes, she has fallen many times.

"The slippery ice is dangerous - everyone knows that," says a man passing by.

But another pedestrian says she never slips - because she wears serious boots with soles like tractor tyres. But has she every slipped on the ice? "Oh god yes", she says. "When I had worse shoes."

Another walker says she uses extra grips under her shoes. Called "broddar" in Swedish, these spiked soles can be attached to one's shoes and cost a couple of hundred kronor. 

Radio Sweden's Loukas Christodoulou tried out a pair and found they made a startling difference. Although watch out - they make walking more difficult on wet tiles in the train stations.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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