The 5 Most Common Summertime Accidents and How to Avoid Them
The summer months are an enjoyable time for most people. The warm weather encourages more activities outside, including biking, playing sports, boating, hiking, and more. As we get out and have fun, however, we have to be careful, as summertime is also a time of more accidents.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), drowning accidents are highest in the summer months. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are also more common as temperatures soar, while more car accidents occur during the month of August than in any other month.
To help keep you and your family safe, we give you the top five summertime accidents below and how to avoid them.
1. Pool Injuries
Swimming pools are popular in the summer for obvious reasons, but they can also be a prime location for injuries. Slips, falls, drownings, and broken bones (from diving in the shallow end) are all possible.
Look for signs indicating depth before diving in. Use caution when walking around the edge of the pool. Never run. Keep an eye on children at all times. Make sure you have security around your home pool to prevent young kids from getting into trouble.
2. Traffic Accidents
There are a few possible reasons for the increase in traffic accidents in the summer. One reason is that there are more teenagers on the road. Driving in the winter can be intimidating, so young drivers are more likely to practice in the warmer weather. Their lack of experience and judgment makes them more likely to become involved in crashes.
Pleasant weather also leads to road congestion, which in turn can result in more frustrated drivers, erratic driving, and even road rage. Road construction also increases, presenting more hazards to drivers, and alcohol impairment is more likely as people spend more time getting together with others.
There are more bicycles, motorcycles, ATVs, and pedestrians on the road in the summer, too, creating more complex situations that drivers must navigate.
Drive carefully during the summer months and stay alert to everyone else on the road. Leave your cell phone off and follow the speed limits.
3. Sports Accidents
As everyone gets outside to play softball, baseball, volleyball, tennis, and other summer sports, the chance for accidents increases. Sprains, bruises, cuts, burns, and even broken bones are all possible.
Make sure you have the appropriate safety equipment each time you play. Don’t do more than you are prepared to do—overestimating your fitness increases your risk of injury. Always stretch before and after playing, and be sure to stay hydrated.
4. Boating Accidents
After a long cold winter, few things feel as good as getting out on the lake or river. Boating accidents spike in the summer for this reason and may be caused by operator inattention or inexperience, speeding, mechanical failure, or hazardous conditions. Injuries can be serious and may even lead to death in some cases.
Never go out on the water before checking the weather forecast. Avoid boating on stormy days. Make sure either you or others operating the boat are well qualified to do so. Always wear the appropriate safety gear including life jackets.
5. Bike Accidents
A lot of people trade their walking shoes and cars for bicycles in the summer. Unfortunately, biking accidents have increased in recent years, with 854 killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2018, compared to 800 in 2017.
Wear the appropriate safety gear, especially a helmet. Assume that motorists cannot see you. Avoid riding at night—the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that bicyclist deaths most often occur between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Make sure your bike is in good working order, with good brakes and inflated tires. Have lights and reflectors on your bike, and wear clothing with reflectors.