Summer is here, and in New Jersey, that means many people will head to the shore. It also means that we can expect an uptick in drunk and distracted driving accidents and that local pools will be packed as we get into the intense heat of the summer months. As New Jersey personal injury lawyers, we know the dangers these circumstances can present, and we encourage everyone to do what they can to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. With this in mind, below are some of our top summer safety tips for 2022.
10 Summer Safety Tips for 2022
Tip #1: Know Where You Are Going
Whenever possible, it is a good idea to plan your route in advance. If you know where you are going, you won’t have to rely as much on your GPS, and this means that you will be able to remain more focused on the road. Not only will this help you avoid potentially missing red lights and stop signs, but it will help you spot dangerous drivers and other hazards on the road as well.
Tip #2: Put Your Phone Out of Reach
Most of us will get tempted at some point to use our phone while behind the wheel. However, studies have shown that even using your phone for a few seconds while driving can be extremely dangerous. To avoid the temptation, put your phone out of reach in your vehicle. It is a good idea to still bring your phone in case of an emergency (and so you can use it when you get to your destination), but you shouldn’t use your phone while you are driving.
Tip #3: Plan for a Safe Ride Home
If you are planning to drink at your destination, make a plan for a safe ride home before you go. Make sure you have a designated driver or take a rideshare vehicle instead of driving yourself. According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of just 0.02 percent can impair a person’s ability to drive. At New Jersey’s legal limit of 0.08 percent (for drivers age 21 and older), drivers can experience impaired perception and judgment, reduced information processing capability, poor muscle coordination, loss of self-control, and other extremely dangerous effects.
Tip #4: Know How to Spot Drunk and Distracted Drivers
Even if you are not using your phone while behind the wheel or drinking and driving, other distracted and drunk drivers can change your life in an instant. With this in mind, it is a good idea to make sure you know how to spot drunk and distracted drivers on the road. To outside observers, distractions and alcohol impairment can cause similar effects, including:
- Drifting across lane lines or onto the shoulder
- Following too closely or just barely avoiding rear-end collisions in stop-and-go traffic
- Merging or changing lanes without signaling
- Rolling through intersections
- Sudden braking and acceleration
Tip #5: Watch for Slip and Trip Hazards
Beyond driving-related dangers, summer presents an increased risk of various other hazards as well. This includes various risks for slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents. From slippery pool decks to personal items left on the beach, it is important to try to watch out for slip and trip hazards anywhere you go.
Tip #6: Avoid Dangerous Weather and Ocean Conditions
While summer storms can form quickly, it is generally best to avoid dangerous weather conditions when possible. If you know a storm is coming, consider staying home or getting to your destination early. Even if you are comfortable driving in heavy rains and high winds, not all drivers are so capable.
Likewise, when heading to the beach, it is a good idea to check the ocean conditions as well. Are there high waves? Is there a risk of a rip current? While most people don’t think to check for these risks when planning a trip to the shore, it is worth taking a few minutes to go online—and consider rescheduling your trip if necessary so that you can make the most of your time.
Tip #7: Always Swim with a Buddy or Supervision
Whether you are at the beach or at a swimming pool, it is always a good idea to swim with a buddy or with supervision. Parents should keep an eye on their children at all times. It only takes a second for an accident to happen; and, when you are dealing with the water, accidents can have life-altering or life-threatening consequences.
Tip #8: Avoid People Who Are Acting Drunk or Reckless
People who are acting drunk and reckless are dangerous to themselves and others. If you encounter someone who is acting inappropriately, do your best to avoid them. Whether you are at the beach, at the pool or downtown, the last thing you want is to end up in the hospital with injuries because someone else made a poor decision.
Tip #9: Pack a Safety Kit and Summer Supplies
Having a safety kit on hand can help you avoid many dangerous situations, and it can help prevent many minor issues from turning into bigger problems. A basic safety kit might include road flares or reflective cones, first aid supplies, and a backup battery for your phone. It is a good idea to keep some summer supplies in your car as well. Sunscreen, water and a good hat are all essentials during the hot summer months.
Tip #10 Seek Medical Treatment When Necessary:
Finally, regardless of what you are doing, it is important to seek medical treatment when necessary. Even if you are on vacation at the Jersey Shore, you should not delay seeing a doctor in the event that you get injured. Not only can this lead to your condition getting worse, but it can also create challenges when it comes to asserting your legal rights if someone else is responsible for what happened.
Contact the New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.
We hope you are able to stay safe this summer. But, if you aren’t, we are here to help. To discuss your legal rights with an experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer in confidence, call 877-435-6371 or request a free consultation online today.