October 8, 2002
Safety on the Ice
Some cold, hard suggestions
(HealthDayNews) -- Winter will be here before you know it, and Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources has some suggestions before you venture out onto that frozen pond or lake:
- It takes at least 4 inches of clear, solid ice to support a person walking across it.
- At least five inches of ice is required to support snowmobiles.
- Cars and small trucks need at least 12 inches of ice to keep them topside.
- If ice isn't clear, it may not be solid -- and you should assume it is unsafe.
- You should check with authorities about the location of traditionally dangerous ice areas.
- You should check ice thickness yourself, with an ice chisel, ice auger or a 1/4-inch drill with a long bit.
- Don't drive on ice unless you absolutely must.
- Stay away from alcoholic beverages, as they can cause errors in judgement that could cost you your life in an ice-related accident.
- Don't "overdrive your headlights" -- anticipate what might be beyond the point where your lights are effective.
- Wear a life jacket under your winter gear if you're going to be on foot on the ice -- but
- Do not wear a life jacket when you are traveling in an enclosed vehicle over ice.