Memorial Day weekend is considered the unofficial start to the summer and one of the most enjoyable times of the year. Families and friends get together for barbecues, boating, swimming, and fun. If you have plans during the holiday weekend, there are certain Memorial Day safety tips that can help you and your family avoid accidents and the serious injuries that often come with them. Keep reading to learn what they are.
If you or a loved sustains a Memorial Day injury that was the result of another party’s negligence, it is in your best interest to reach out to our experienced Ohio personal injury lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick. We can help you determine liability and inform you of your legal options. Contact us for help today.
What You Can Do to Avoid Accidents This Memorial Day
While some accidents that arise during Memorial Day weekend are inevitable, others can be easily prevented. Our personal injury lawyers recommend the following safety tips.
Travel Safety Tips
Since Memorial Day weekend is one of the most dangerous weekends for vehicle travel, it’s more important than ever to focus on safety if you’re planning on traveling during the holiday. Keep these travel safety tips in mind:
- Prepare your vehicle: Make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape before using it for holiday travel. Check the brakes, engine, tires, and all the other vital components of it and make repairs if necessary.
- Leave early: Give yourself extra time for travel so that you don’t feel pressured to speed or engage in reckless driving behaviors.
- Wear seatbelts: Encourage adults and children to put on their seatbelts and keep them on throughout the entire trip. Believe it or not, seatbelts save more than 15,000 lives each year. If you have young children, be sure they are safely secured in an age-appropriate car seat.
- Get plenty of sleep the night before: To avoid fatigued driving, get a good night’s rest the night before you embark on your Memorial Day adventure.
Sun Safety Tips
The sun can be dangerous if you and your family do not practice sun safety. Even if it doesn’t seem super hot outside, the following sun safety tips are essential.
- Apply and reapply sunscreen: Apply sunscreen on yourself and your children to avoid burns. Be sure to reapply it every few hours if you’re on land and every hour if you’re out on the water.
- Take frequent breaks from the sun: Too much sun is never a good thing. Encourage your family to spend some time in the air conditioning every so often.
- Be aware of the signs of heat stroke: Lightheadedness, confusion, and dizziness are the most common signs of heat stroke. If you notice another adult or child is displaying these signs, take them inside and go to the nearest emergency department if their symptoms don’t seem to be improving.
Grilling and Food Preparation Safety Tips
There’s nothing better than freshly grilled hot dogs and burgers on Memorial Day weekend. To ensure grilling and food preparation doesn’t become hazardous, follow these tips.
- Keep your grill in a safe spot: Your grill should be at least 10 feet away from your home, garage, or trees.
- Extinguish grease fires properly: In the event of a grease fire, use an approved fire extinguisher. Refrain from extinguishing with water.
- Never leave your grill unattended: Even a second away from your grill can lead to a serious accident. Make sure a trustworthy adult is always watching it.
- Grill away from children: Grills and children are never a good combination. Therefore, make an effort to grill in an area where children are unlikely to enter.
- Use a food thermometer: A food thermometer can help you determine whether meat and poultry are cooked thoroughly.
Water Safety Tips
Many Memorial Day weekend celebrations involve spending time on or in the water. Unfortunately, water-related injuries and fatalities are a common occurrence. Here’s how they can be avoided:
- Designate a “water watcher” for children: The water watcher will be responsible for watching children playing in the water or enjoying their time on a boat.
- Take a boat safety course: If you’re planning on taking your boat out this Memorial Day, it is well worth your time to take a boat safety course. The U.S. Coast Guard as well as a number of other organizations offer these courses for free or a small fee.
- Wear life jackets: Adults and children should wear U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets that fit well and are secured properly.
- Make sure children know how to swim: Do not permit your children to swim unless you know they know how to swim and are comfortable in the water. It may be a good idea to sign them up for swimming lessons in advance.
Alcohol Safety Tips
According to the National Safety Council, 36% of fatalities on Memorial Day weekend in 2016 involved a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. To keep yourself and other safe from the dangers of alcohol during the holiday, we suggest these tips:
- Don’t drink and drive: This is an obvious yet very important tip. If you’ve had something to drink, allow someone sober to get behind the wheel instead. You can also use a ride-sharing service like Uber.
- Plan an alcohol free celebration: Planning an alcohol free celebration is a particularly good idea if many children are involved in your plans and/or you are worried you’ll drink more than you should.
- Pace alcoholic drinks: If you do wish to drink, be sure to pace yourself and drink a glass of water between every drink. Keep in mind that heat and alcohol can dehydrate the body so staying hydrated is a must.
Contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick
By following the various safety tips listed above, you and your family are more likely to have a safe and pleasant Memorial Day weekend. If you or a loved one does get hurt as a result of another party’s negligent actions, don’t hesitate to contact our firm right away. Kisling, Nestico & Redick understands that the negligence of others is not in your control and can help ensure your rights are protected.