So much for extreme winter sports – maneuvering around treacherous roads and sidewalks is challenge enough for many members of the University community this season.

Shabina Khatri
ELISE BERGMAN/Daily
LSA freshman Shawn Sinacola struggles to regain balance yesterday, as the snow melted and refroze in the Diag.

LSA junior Veronica Torres broke her ankle when she slipped and fell on the ice last Saturday night. She will be in a cast for the next four to six weeks.

After e-mailing her professors to let them know she would not be in class after her accident, Torres said she was not the only one struggling to keep her balance on the sidewalks. She said many responded with similar experiences of surviving slippery walking conditions.

Engineering freshman Mollie Mobley also said she could not avoid the slippery sidewalks last Saturday night. “I fell and plunged my face into the jagged ice,” she said. Mobley added she now has several stitches on her face and a swollen lip as a result of her fall. “I look like Frankenstein right now.”

University Health Service Director Robert Winfield said there have been more slip and fall accidents this winter than usual. He added that the most common injuries UHS sees as a result of the outdoor conditions are broken legs, sprained ankles and concussions.

“Usually people fall backwards or slip sideways, and if they fall hard enough, they hit the back of their head,” Winfield said. He added that people who fall forward are more likely to sustain wrist injuries because they generally put their hands out in front of them to break their fall.

Diane Brown, University Facilities and Operations spokeswoman, said Ann Arbor has seen more snow this winter than any winter in the last decade. “This year has been one where we’ve had to be continuously out (to clear the snow),” she said. Brown added that extreme weather greatly increases the workload for the Grounds and waste management crew, which already has a large job.

Brown said the hospital is the highest priority for snow removal, but high-traffic areas like Central Campus are some of the first places treated.

The Michigan State University Agricultural Weather Office reports that southeast Michigan sees 3.9 inches of snowfall by today’s date in March on average. In March 2003, 8.3 inches of snow has already fallen.

As the winter continues, and people are still slipping and falling on the ice. The Department of Public Safety has received at least six reports of slip-and-fall accidents in the last week.

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