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As summer comes to a close, people throughout the United States are looking forward to an enjoyable Labor Day weekend. This holiday weekend can involve long drives, parties, barbecues, outdoor sports, and drinking. Everyone deserves to relax and celebrate the holiday weekend, but safety should always be a priority.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Safety Council (NSC), thousands of people in this country are seriously hurt in car accidents each Labor Day weekend. It is a good idea to understand the ways that families can stay safe during the holiday weekend.
When a road trip is part of the Labor Day weekend plans, it makes sense to prepare ahead of time by inspecting the car. There should be an emergency kit on board with a flashlight, batteries, blankets, and extra food and water. The tire pressure and fluid levels should also be checked. Before departing, drivers should plan the route with a navigational device, and allow other passengers to handle navigation.
Holiday traffic can be frustrating, but aggressive driving, like tailgating and speeding, will cause accidents. Planning the drive outside of peak travel hours can mean a lot less cars on the road, and listening to the weather report before leaving and wearing seat belts will also make the drive safer.
Distracted driving should always be avoided. Drivers should also keep their cellphones on “Do Not Disturb,” and avoid other distracting activities, like eating or arguing with passengers in the car.
Drunk driving is extremely dangerous and must be avoided. Choosing a designated driver or calling a rideshare service for shorter rides are the best alternatives. When another vehicle sharing the road is moving too fast, too slow, or erratically, a driver could be under the influence. It is a good idea to stay far away and to pull into a safe place to call 911, or have a passenger make the call to report them.
Boaters can follow some of the same guidelines as car drivers. They should check over their vessels to make sure they are in good working condition, and keep safety equipment, like emergency kits and personal flotation devices, on board.
The rules of the water, such as speed limits, should also be followed at all times. Before leaving, the weather should be carefully checked, and any family or friends not joining the trip should be told where the boat is going and when it should be returning.
Swimming can also be a cause for concern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that approximately 10 people drown every day in America. There are ways to prevent this, though.
Swimmers should stay close to lifeguard stands, and never go into the water after drinking or taking drugs. No one should ever swim alone, and children should wear lifejackets. These vests should be worn while kayaking, tubing, and rafting, too.
Outdoor eating is a big part of Labor Day festivities. Certain foods should remain refrigerated or in the cooler until the last possible minute to avoid spoiling. This includes meat, chicken, eggs, and anything made with mayonnaise. When handling raw meat, the chef should wash their hands afterwards and dry them on paper towels.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, outdoor grills send approximately 19,000 people to emergency rooms every year. They recommend that charcoal and propane grills only be used outdoors and should never be left unattended when in use.
Grills should not be close to tree branches or other wood objects, like deck railings, and they should be placed three or more feet away from children and pets. To further prevent accidents, grills should be cleaned often with grease, and fat buildup should be removed from the grates and trays.
Independence Day is not the only time of year for fireworks, and though they are exciting, they can be quite dangerous. While commercial fireworks should only be handled by professionals, many others get fireworks from stores, such as Roman candles and sparklers. When using these, they should never be pointed at anyone, and only one should be lit at a time. They should never be used by people who are under the influence or young children.
Fireworks should also only be set off at the recommended distance from others. When they do not go off, they should never be re-lit since they could explode in the person’s hands.
It is important to stay hydrated, especially while participating in outdoor activities. Party hosts should provide plenty of water to their guests, and any outdoor activities should also include a good supply of water.
The sun can be pretty strong during this time of year, so applying and re-applying sunscreen throughout the day combats sunburns, sun poisoning, and rashes. Parents can apply it on their children before putting it on themselves every few hours.
This sport has become increasingly popular this year, but no one should get on a bike until they are familiar with the proper safety techniques. Adults and children should always wear helmets. Even a short ride around the neighborhood can be deadly if a speeding car does not see a bicyclist. High-traffic roads and roads without shoulders should be avoided, and biking at night is never a good idea.
Bikes should be equipped with front and rear headlights to show visibility to drivers, pedestrians, and other bicyclists. Wearing bright colored clothing is also helpful, and the rule of the road is to ride with the flow of traffic rather than against it.
Labor Day weekend can mean large gatherings of people, and in light of the coronavirus pandemic, safety protocols should still be followed. It is still important to wear face masks in public places and to maintain social distancing. Hand sanitizer should be used often, especially after using public restrooms or when going into restaurants and shops. Different states have different requirements, so anyone traveling out of their area can go online to get informed about the rules.
If one is injured while participating in festivities, they may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. A lawyer can help a victim determine if they have a case.
An injury can easily ruin a holiday weekend. If you were injured by a negligent party, you may be eligible to collect compensation. Our Milford personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow help injured victims obtain compensation. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 302-422-6705. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Hillsborough, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.