Memorial Day Weekend Safety Tips
Posted in Car Accident,Personal Injury on May 21, 2021
It’s a holiday many families look forward to all year—Memorial Day Weekend. With COVID-19 restrictions loosening across the country, many families will take their first vacation in well over a year to celebrate this long weekend. And while these tips will bring nothing but good memories for most of those families, some get-togethers, trips, and vacations will turn to tragedy due to preventable accidents and injuries.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville personal injury lawyers work hard to help injured victims get the money they deserve after injuries that weren’t their fault. But an even better outcome is to avoid those injuries in the first place. That’s why we created this list of safety tips for different types of Memorial Day Weekend activities.
If You’re Planning on Driving Somewhere, Remember To…
- Plan your route ahead of time—Look up your destination before you pack up your car and leave your driveway. Not only will this help you take the fastest route and avoid traffic and road closures, but it will also spare you the temptation of fiddling with your GPS while your vehicle is in motion.
- Inspect your vehicle before leaving—Check your lights, tires, and battery. Do your headlights, high beams, brake lights, and turn signals work? Are your tires properly inflated and free from damage? Is your spare tire in good condition? Is your battery free from corrosion and leaks? These are all important questions to ask before you get on the road.
- Avoid using your phone while driving—If you’re driving alone, pull over in a safe spot if you need to make a phone call or send a text message. If you’re riding with others, have a passenger make those phone calls or send those text messages for you. Never take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off the task at hand.
- Be cautious in work zones—If you’re going on a long road trip, you may pass through work zones. And while many of those work zones may be unoccupied during the holiday weekend, you should still proceed with caution, as you may encounter narrow lanes, lane closures, and traffic shifts.
- Avoid alcohol—Many people associate vacations and holiday weekends with alcohol consumption. If you’re planning on drinking, save it for after you’ve reached your destination. If you stop along the way and have a few drinks, be sure to appoint a designated driver beforehand to finish the rest of the trip.
- Switch drivers or stop if you feel drowsy—Sometimes families hit the road for vacation immediately after they get out of school and off of work. But doing so can be dangerous, especially if the trip is long and they try to make it in a single evening. Don’t push yourself, and if you feel sleepy while driving, pull over or switch drivers.
If You’re Spending the Day on the Water, You Should…
- Avoid alcohol—Swimming while intoxicated is extremely dangerous! Boating under the influence can be just as dangerous as driving while impaired, and it’s also illegal. If you do drink, limit your intake, stay out of the water, and appoint a designated driver for your boat.
- Watch children closely—Even strong swimmers can experience sudden difficulties in the water, and silent drownings are a real threat, especially for children. Watch kids closely in the water, whether it’s a swimming pool, a lake, a river, or the ocean.
- Pack the required gear—If you’re on a boat, ensure there are enough life jackets for everyone on board. Be sure to have kid-sized life jackets for any children onboard. You also need other emergency equipment to legally or safely operate your boat, including a fire extinguisher, throwable flotation device, flares/nighttime signals, and sound signaling devices.
- Don’t let unlicensed people or children drive the boat—Boats aren’t toys. For full safety, they should be driven only by experienced and licensed operators. People who lack experience and maturity can put themselves and others on board at serious risk when they drive boats.
- Apply plenty of sunscreen—Sunburn isn’t always just a painful annoyance. It can be extremely dangerous, especially for people with fair skin who spend too many hours in direct sunlight. Use at least an SPF 50 sunscreen, and re-apply frequently throughout the day, especially after being in the water.
If You’re Going to Be Hiking, Take Care To…
- Watch the weather—Dress appropriately for the temperature. Late May can be extremely hot in Middle Tennessee, and heatstroke can occur quickly and suddenly. Dress in loose layers and avoid dark colors to reduce heat. Avoid hiking if there are storms in the forecast, as they can pop up while you’re exposed on a trail.
- Bring along plenty of water—Dehydration is a real risk on hot Tennessee days, especially when you’re doing strenuous physical activity. Bring more water than you think you’ll need, as you never know if something may happen that will keep you on the trail longer than you expected.
- Wear proper footwear—Never hike in flip-flops or shoes with worn tread and soles. Wearing hiking boots or outdoor shoes with high ankles can give you better balance, stability, and traction.
- Tell others about your route—Even if you’re with a group, tell people who aren’t coming along about your hiking route. Where are you going, when will you get there, and when will you be back? Ensuring that at least one person not on your trip knows this information could save your life in the event of an emergency.
- Stay on the trail—Even well-marked trails are easily lost in the middle of a dense forest. If you must leave the trail for any reason, mark your path with a string or other highly visible object so that you can easily return to it.
- Be ready to turn around at a moment’s notice—Whether it is bad weather rolling in or the trail getting dark earlier than you expected, never push to “finish” a hike when conditions are getting dangerous. Being ready to turn around and head back to your camp or car can save your life.
Our Lawyers Are Here to Help If You Get Hurt on Memorial Day
Getting seriously injured while enjoying your vacation is the last thing anyone wants. But thousands of Americans experience that exact scenario every year—especially on Memorial Day Weekend. And to make matters worse, many of those injuries are preventable and caused by other people’s negligence.
If you or someone you love is injured during your holiday weekend by a negligent driver, boater, camper, or hiker, we want to help. Contact the Nashville car accident lawyers at Matt Hardin Law today for a free consultation.