Hazards to Avoid During Summer Vacation
Summertime. The kids are out of school, and it’s time to hit the road for that summer vacation. Many adults decide summer is the time to visit friends or relatives around the country. Whatever your pleasure, summertime is also a time when additional hazards risk your safety.
Personal injury attorney J. Allan Brown would like you to know the complications that could ruin your summer and beyond.
Car Accidents – It’s always wise to be especially vigilant when behind the wheel as car accidents can happen at any time of the year. But expect to see more cars around family-friendly recreation spots on the Fourth of July and Labor Day holidays.
Also, consider that teen drivers, the least experienced and often the riskiest drivers, are out of school in the summer and often hit the roads with their friends.
NHTSA reports there were 983 traffic fatalities in Alabama in 2021.
Safety First – Avoid alcohol use and driving. For teens, limit their time behind the wheel, have a strict no-alcohol policy, and set a curfew, as no good comes when an inexperienced driver is on the road at night.
ATV Accidents – All-terrain vehicle (ATV) use rises in the summer months, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that in 2021, more than 106,000 emergency room visits were associated with these vehicles. One-third of the victims were children under the age of 16.
Safety First - A protective helmet and hands-on training from a qualified instructor are all advised.
Boating Accidents – Unfortunately for many, boating and drinking are synonymous. There are speed limits and rules for safe boat operation.
Safety First – Boaters need to follow the rules of the water and pay attention to their surroundings. A combination of speeding and alcohol causes the most serious boating accidents. Under Alabama law, it is illegal to operate a boat or any marine transportation device while under the influence of alcohol.
Swimming Accidents – Swimming accidents peak during summer at the pool or the beach.
For children up to age 14, the Alabama Public Health office reports drowning is the second leading cause of death after car crashes.
Other safety statistics include:
- Most young children who drown in pools were supervised by one or both parents and had been out of sight for less than five minutes.
- Children under 5 accounted for 73% of fatal child drownings in 2021.
- Male children have a drowning rate twice to four times that of girls.
- Spinal cord injuries can result when someone dives into shallow waters or a pool that is not deep enough.
Safety First - Make sure pools have safety gates children can’t access. Ladders should never be left leaning against an above-ground pool. Children should learn to swim at an early age.
At the beach, pay attention to the riptide warnings. In Alabama, a purple flag indicates dangerous marine life is present, which can include sharks, hardhead catfish, lionfish, barracuda, and sting rays.
Red tide warnings are another reason to avoid water. Exposure can lead to breathing difficulties or a skin rash.
Bicycle/ Pedestrian Accidents – Warmer weather brings more people out on the roads and sidewalks biking and walking. Federal safety statistics (NHTSA) reported 128 pedestrian fatalities in 2021 and 7 bicyclist fatalities in the same year.
Safety First – Pedestrians need to take off their headphones or earbuds to be aware of their surroundings. Keep your eyes on your surroundings and off the smartphone. Wear bright clothing. Drivers must be especially mindful when the sun is setting or rising, as it can blind the driver who doesn’t see someone in the roadway.
Grilling Accidents – Summer is associated with outdoor cooking and grilling, but even this enjoyable activity has dangers. Every year, more than 5,000 ER-treated injuries include burns, fires, and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Safety First - Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and clean the grill with a nylon brush or a ball of aluminum. Wires from a grill brush have been known to end up in the food. Keep children away from hot grills.
Your Alabama Personal Injury Attorney
If you are injured in a summertime accident, J. Allan Brown will offer you a complimentary consultation to determine the at-fault party and what compensation you will need to make you whole. Please call his Mobile office at (251) 473-6691 so together you can devise a plan to help you move forward with your life.
Alabama Public Health