In the split second it takes for you to go from slip to sidewalk, it's likely that your world slows way down. Maybe you replay your life, maybe you blurt out seventeen expletives in a row, maybe you recite your grandmother's pineapple cake recipe. Whatever the case, you should be taking that seems-like-an-eternity second to prepare yourself to fall with the least impact possible.
There is a right way to fall and a wrong way. (Hint: The wrong way is leading with your nose.) Ideally, you want to minimize the force by falling on as much surface area as possible, and once you are going to fall, don't resist; just try to fall safely. Learn to fall like a martial-arts expert, so the fall won't break your spine or hip.
You can actually practice falling (with an instructor, preferably) on a padded floor. Start by falling from a low position, as in a deep squat. When you fall, don't think, react. If these tips exist somewhere in your subconscious and your muscles (muscles have memory), then you might fall correctly and minimize injury.
Find out more about this book:You: Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty