Summer is here, and that means better weather, vacations, and more time to get out and about. Unfortunately, the summer months are also a time when various factors can increase the risks of accidents and injuries, especially on our roadways. If you have plans to enjoy the summer months out of the home, understanding these risks and how to manage them can help you celebrate the season safely.
At Leonard Law Group, our Chicago personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys have worked with thousands of men, women, and families throughout the years, many of whom suffered injuries during summer as a result of increased risks that accompany these warmer and more active months. Because we have seen how summertime risks can result in preventable accidents and injuries that create substantial setbacks for victims and their loved ones, we wanted to provide some important information about staying safe.
Roadway Risks – The summer months are notorious for increases risks on public roads and highways, and those risks are driven by a number of various factors. Whether you’re planning to travel, head out on a road trip, or simply need to get around town during the coming months, keep the following in mind:
- Young Drivers – More young drivers hit the road during summer due to summer break, and because teens and young adults are more likely to be involved in car accidents than drivers of any age group, they also bring increased risks to our roads. Be aware that younger motorists may exhibit risky and dangerous driving behaviors, and if you have a young driver in your household or one returning for summer vacation, be sure they understand that obeying the rules of the road, avoiding distractions behind the wheel, and driving sober should always be priorities.
- More Traffic – Public roads and highways can see a substantial increase in traffic, especially at nights, during weekends, and during holidays like the Fourth of July. Be aware that increased traffic requires you to always be vigilant and to be prepared for sudden stops and congestion. As such, you should avoid distracted driving at all costs, not only when on the open road, but also when traveling in areas with increased foot traffic. You should keep an eye out for out-of-towners and tourists who come to Chicago with limited knowledge of local roadways or local traffic laws. These motorists are more likely to make sudden maneuvers or lane changes when driving.
- Drunk Driving – Drunk and impaired drivers are a concern at any time of the year, but because the summer is a time when there are more celebrations, events, and holidays, the number of alcohol-related accidents tends to increase during this time of year. Do your part to keep our roads safe by never driving under the influence. If you do plan to enjoy your summer with some alcoholic beverages, take the time to plan a sober ride or designated driver, take a taxi or rideshare, or stay the night where you’ll be drinking. Drunk driving is never worth it, and it can have tremendous consequences for all those involved in accidents.
- Drowsy Driving – You should also keep in mind that drowsy driving (which is common after spending the summer days outdoors) can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. As such, be sure to get plenty of rest and drink enough water if you are out and about during the day and need to travel by car later. For longer trips, plan accordingly to have pit stops and rest breaks, or switch off with a more rested driver when needed.
- Vehicle Safety – Ensuring the safety of your vehicle prior to summer driving is important, as warmer weather can compromise the function of certain vehicle components, such as tires. Take your vehicle in for a thorough checkup, or conduct an inspection of all essential parts to ensure they are not exhibiting signs of wear and tear, especially if you plan on taking a longer road trip.
Pool & Swimming Accidents – Cooling off in the pool or the water is great way to enjoy the summer, but they aren’t without their risks. Whether you’ll be using your own pool, a friend’s, or a public pool, or have plans to get out on the lake, you’ll want to ensure that safety is a priority. This means ensuring all members of your family have command of their swimming skills, supervising young children anytime they are near or in the water, and having safety devices and a safety plan in the event that accidents happen. You can also take steps to safeguard pools during the summer by installing gates or fencing that prevents young children from wandering nearby and putting themselves at risk of drowning.
Holidays & Celebrations – The summer is the perfect time to celebrate, get together with friends, and have parties. If you’re a homeowner celebrating the holidays or enjoying time with friends, you can take steps to ensure the safety of guests by eliminating potential hazards, including potential trip and fall hazards, and exerting extra caution when pools are being used. If you’re grilling, be sure to use grills as instructed, never use them indoors, and always supervise children. Other holiday safety tips include avoidance of drunk driving, proper use of licensed fireworks, and using any consumer products as they are intended.
Preventable Accidents, Injuries & Your Rights
As our attorneys at Leonard Law Group know, even the most vigilant and safety-minded individuals can find themselves as victims of preventable accidents when others around them are not as careful. Fortunately, our civil justice system provides victims of negligent individuals and entities with the right to hold those at-fault parties accountable and financially liable for their damages, including their pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages, among other damages.
Our attorneys can help you learn more about filing a personal injury claim seeking a recovery of your damages after a range of preventable accidents and injuries, including those involving:
- Auto accidents caused by negligent drivers
- Distracted driving and drunk driving accidents
- Defective products or vehicle parts
- Drowning, pool and water-related accidents
- Accidents on or near worksites and construction zones
- Premises liability involving negligent property owners
If you wish to discuss your recent accident and learn how our award-winning injury attorneys can help protect your rights during the journey ahead, please contact us for a FREE and confidential consultation. Leonard Law Group proudly serves personal injury and workers’ compensation clients throughout Chicago and the surrounding areas of Illinois.