The timeframe for Spring Break is technically over, but for many the vacation season and summer activity is just around the corner. The weather is warmer, spring fever is in the air and everyone wants to be outside. With many more people on the road and taking part in outdoor activities like biking, running and walking, the transformation of our towns becomes a prettier picture. We put the tops down on the car, ready our boats for water sports, and find an outdoor patio seat at our favorite neighborhood gathering spot. Seems harmless, right?
Yet, studies show that with many more drivers on the roads and pedestrians outdoors taking advantage of ideal weather, the risk for any type of accident becomes even greater. More people out—more accidents occur. Perfect weather brings out one’s inner freedom. It’s been shown that in ideal weather, people drive at higher rates of speed, partake in drinking and driving during the day, and generally exhibit careless behavior in their preparation of sports equipment like boats and canoes.
Boating activities abound in summer weather, yet many boating accidents occur near the dock, sometimes before the boat is even launched. Someone overreaches the tie-up point and becomes injured, stuck or pinned between the dock and the boat; or someone falls into the water from impact when the boat hits the dock. On shore, general outdoor activities entice those enjoying the warm weather who decide to stop at a local pub for an afternoon cocktail. They meet up with friends, bask in the sun and visit with others doing the same for hours on end. Then they drive way, after having several alcoholic beverages. After all, road conditions are better without the snow and ice, so drivers cruise along at higher rates or speed, anxious to arrive at their next destination.
It makes sense to keep some things in mind when you are enjoying the great outdoors so that your summer remains safe. Be sure you know the rules of the road, and be extra careful when driving in highly populated areas where people may be walking or riding bikes. Prepare your boat for water sports when you are alert and have the time to implement all safety features. Designate a driver if you will be hopping from watering hole to watering hole.
Despite the causalities of summer and the lure of the warm weather, engaging in proper safety practices will always be your best bet, whether you are driving, biking, walking, skiing or boating. Taking the time to remember a few simple steps can mean all the difference between enjoying the rest of the summer season, and finding yourself in a hospital emergency room or visiting someone who has been seriously injured. Summer season is to be enjoyed, and you’ll want to have many more summers in your lifetime. Enjoy the road, the water and the company of friends and family by playing it safe in all seasons.