Summer is a great time to relax, have fun and enjoy Oregon’s outdoor activities. Unfortunately, summer fun may expose you to health and safety hazards that can turn an enjoyable vacation or a day with family and friends into a nightmare.
The Bend personal injury attorneys at Bailey & Yarmo, LLP, want to remind you that making safety a priority this summer is the best way to avoid common summertime injuries. Take a few minutes to learn about potential health and safety hazards that can ruin summertime fun.
Motor vehicle accidents
People generally travel more during the summer with crowded roads and drivers focusing on navigation systems. It should not be surprising that the rate of motor vehicle crashes increases.
Teenage drivers in Oregon are particularly at risk during the summer months. According to the AAA, the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day is the “100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers. An analysis of road accident fatalities in Oregon involving teenage drivers revealed that 32% of the accidents happened between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Talk to the teenage drivers in your family about ways to reduce the risk of car accidents, including:
- Don’t drink and drive or get in a car with someone who has been drinking.
- Follow the speed limit and obey traffic laws.
- Do not put the car in drive until everyone in the vehicle has their seatbelt buckled.
- Avoid distractions, such as texting, eating, or talking on the phone, while driving.
- Take breaks on long trips, and turn the driving over to someone else if you feel tired or drowsy.
- Plan routes and program your navigation device before starting a trip.
Summer heat and long drives can lead to aggressive driving. If confronted by an aggressive driver, it’s better to slow down and let them go than respond in kind.
Mowing the lawn may not be your favorite summertime activity, but rushing and ignoring the hazards will only lead to injuries. Every year, almost 85,000 people require treatment in hospital emergency departments for lawn mower-related injuries, including cuts, burns, broken bones, and amputations. To prevent these injuries, follow these tips:
- Dress for safety by wearing goggles or safety glasses; sturdy, closed-toe shoes; long pants; and gloves.
- Keep children and pets away from the mowing area.
- Clear the lawn of any debris, such as rocks, sticks, or toys, before mowing.
- Wet grass can be slippery, so wait until it has dried before mowing.
- Turn off the mower and wait for the blade to stop before removing any blockages or adjusting the mowing height. Never reach in while the blade is moving.
- Fill the gas tank before you begin mowing, and refill it only when the engine has cooled. Gasoline spilled onto a hot engine can cause a fire.
Follow the operating instructions that came with the lawnmower to avoid accidents and injuries.
According to the United States Coast Guard, 4,040 boating accidents occurred last year, resulting in 88 deaths and 2,222 people injured. A leading cause of boating accidents is operator behavior, including speeding, use of alcohol, and inattention.
You cannot account for the behavior of other boaters, but here are a few things that you can do to stay safe this boating season:
- Wear a life jacket at all times when on board a boat.
- Check the weather forecast and water conditions before heading out.
- Follow the boating laws and regulations.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when operating or riding on a boat.
- Take a boating safety course and get a boating license if required.
If your enjoyment of the water does not involve boating, here are a few safety tips to keep you safe when enjoying swimming pools, lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water:
- Children should be supervised by an adult at all times.
- Swim in areas supervised by lifeguards whenever possible.
- Use the buddy system, and do not swim alone.
- Know your limits and do not exceed them, even if you are a good swimmer.
- Do not dive into shallow water.
- Get out of the water and seek shelter when there is thunder or lightning.
Blow-up rafts and other floating devices can take you into deep waters, even in a swimming pool, so pay attention particularly if you cannot swim.
Enjoy a safe summer
Spending time with friends and family is what summer should be all about. Don’t let preventable accidents spoil the fun. If you or a loved one is injured this summer because of the negligent or reckless conduct of someone else, the Bend personal injury lawyers at Bailey & Yarmo, LLP, can help. Contact us to learn how we can get you the compensation you deserve.