Memorial Day Weekend unofficially kickstarts the summer season. Every year, countless Virginians enjoy the opportunity to get out and bond with friends and family over classic summertime activities.
Unfortunately, many common Memorial Day pastimes could also put your safety and the safety of others at risk. So as you usher in the hottest time of the year this Memorial Day Weekend, consider the four following focus areas to keep everyone safe.
Motor Vehicle and Travel Safety
If you plan to hit the road in Virginia this Memorial Day, here are some summer driving tips to keep in mind:
- Avoid unnecessary stress by planning your route in advance and factoring in plenty of extra time for congestion, summer road work, and other delays.
- Be on the lookout for tourists and visitors who don’t know the local roads. Do your best to be patient if they drive or walk around slowly.
- Be on the lookout for more motorcyclists and bicyclists on the road. Maintain a safe, respectful distance any time you drive near a motorcycle or bicycle.
- Be prepared for hot-weather emergencies by conducting routine car maintenance before long trips, keeping a first-aid kit in the car, and bringing backups such as paper maps in case of electrical device failure.
Safety in the Pool and on the Beach
If you plan to visit the pool, the lake, or the beach this Memorial Day Weekend, follow these aquatic safety tips while you beat the heat:
- Show children how to swim and teach them basic water safety before going. Never leave kids unsupervised or use the “sink or swim” method to force them into deep water before they’re ready.
- Bring well-fitting life jackets and reliable flotation devices for swimmers.
- Research the potential hazards of any body of water you plan to visit, such as dangerous temperatures, marine life, or strong currents.
- Never swim outside of designated areas, especially in oceans, lakes, or rivers.
- Consider taking adult and child CPR classes to prepare for emergencies.
People who plan to spend their Memorial Day Weekends on boats, canoes, kayaks, or other personal watercraft should review the following boating safety tips:
- Review the Virginia Boater’s Guide from the Department of Wildlife Resources and be sure you understand statewide boating equipment regulations.
- Wear a properly-fitted life jacket and make sure everyone onboard the watercraft has their own life jacket. It’s also good to keep plenty of spare life jackets and emergency flotation devices.
- Never operate any watercraft while intoxicated or otherwise impaired by alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription or over-the-counter medications.
Safety at Cookouts and Picnics
If you’re hosting or attending a Memorial Day barbecue, cookout, or picnic, plan ahead for a safe and fun event by:
- Ensuring everyone has access to plenty of water, sunscreen, shade, and first aid.
- Keep an eye out for dehydration or heat stress signs, such as headaches, lightheadedness, nausea, unusual lack of sweat, or irritability.
- Cook all meats long enough to ensure an inner temperature of at least 145°F, and never use the same utensils for cooking and serving meat.
- Keep dairy, cheeses, condiments, and other perishable food items in coolers.
- Ensure sober, adult supervision for the use of any sparklers or other fireworks.
Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or someone close to you suffered a preventable injury due to someone else’s negligence over the Memorial Day weekend, don’t hesitate to contact Virginia injury attorneys at Arrington Schelin. We have more than 40 years of experience helping injured people in our community. We’re ready to stand up for you.