How to Stay Safe This Summer on Water and Land

a man riding a bikeThe summer season means a host of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. From boating to biking, there’s plenty of ways to spend the long summer days.

While we all enjoy the summer season, it’s always best to be proactive and prepared to ensure that your summer is accident and injury-free. We’ve got some tips on how to stay safe when participating in these top summer activities.

Boating Safety

When out on the beautiful lakes in the Kansas City and Topeka area, it’s important to be well-prepared before you and your passengers head out to the water. Here’s how to keep everyone on board safe.

Have Safety Equipment Easily Accessible

While it’s impossible to predict an emergency, being prepared with safety equipment can help you stay safe should an emergency arise. Ensure the following equipment is easily accessible onboard:

  • Flashlights

  • Duct tape (temporary leak fix)

  • Bailing bucket (should water fill inside the boat)

  • First aid kit

  • Whistle (signal for help)

  • Ropes (to pull someone in if they have fallen overboard or tie down loose items)

  • Mirror (can be used as a reflector to signal for help)

  • Garbage bags (can be used as a make-shift rain poncho in inclement weather)

  • Fire extinguisher

  • Life jackets

Avoid Drinking Alcohol When Operating a Boat

When out boating for the day, it’s not uncommon for many people to stock up on food and beverages for the day ahead — and alcohol is one beverage that many put at the top of the list. According to a 2018 report by the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol use was the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. When operating a boat, it’s critical to stay sober for the safety of everyone on board.

Take a Boater Education Course

In the state of Missouri, any person between 12 and 20 years of age who wishes to operate a boat without direct supervision must complete an approved boater education course. A boat safety course can teach you how to operate the vessel properly and help you learn what to do in an emergency situation.

Know the Rules of the Water

Unlike roadways, open waters do not provide stop signs and traffic signals. Boaters must rely on their experience and skill when navigating the waters. Understanding the boating rules and safety regulations can keep you and your passengers from being involved in a boating accident.

Review Safety Precautions With Your Passengers

Before you leave the dock, ensure that your passengers are aware of all boat safety rules. Review where safety equipment is located on your boat as well as reiterate the following:

Swimming Safety

Swimming is a popular pastime for children and adults alike during the summer season. However, a drowning accident can happen in the blink of an eye. Whether swimming in the pool or at the lake, these safety tips can save a life:

Take Swimming Lessons

No matter how old you are, swimming lessons can teach you how to swim or improve your swimming skills.

Install Pool Fencing

Anyone can be at risk of being involved in a drowning accident. However, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that unintentional drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14. Ensuring that your pool is isolated by fencing can reduce the risk of a drowning accident.

Use the Buddy System

Should a swimming accident happen while you are alone, it may be impossible for you to reach someone for help. Having a friend or family member nearby can help save you from drowning.

Avoid Alcohol Consumption

Drinking alcohol before going for a swim is never a good idea. When impaired, you can slow down your reaction time if an accident occurs. Stay sober when out for a swim, whether at the pool or lake.

Keep Safety Equipment Handy

Whether at the lake or pool, be sure to have the following safety equipment handy:

  • First aid kits

  • Throwable life preservers

  • Life jackets

Never Dive in Shallow Water

When it comes to head injuries and drowning, diving in shallow water can be the catalyst to an accident. When at the pool, only use designated diving boards and never jump or dive in from the pool's sides, no matter the depth.

Bicycle Safety

Even though there is an abundance of biking trails in and around Kansas City and Topeka, many bicyclists share the road with cars, trucks, and buses. Riding on public roads can increase the chances of being involved in a bicycle accident. Here’s how bicyclists can stay safe and prevent a severe injury should they be involved in a crash.

Wear a Helmet

Head injuries are far too common in bicycle accidents. Wearing a helmet could save you from sustaining a traumatic brain injury and may save your life.

Wear Reflective Gear

When out for a bike ride when it’s dark, it can be difficult for motorists to see you. Before heading out for a ride, stay visible by wearing reflective vests and other gear. It’s also essential to ensure that your bike is equipped with reflectors for added safety.

No matter what time of day, or if you are wearing reflective clothing, always assume that drivers cannot see you.

Know the Rules of the Road

Bicyclists who follow road rules can reduce the risk of an accident. When riding with traffic, be sure to:

  • Ride in the same direction as traffic, not against it.

  • Obey all traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.

  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.

  • Use hand signals when making turns.

Stay Alert

When riding your bike, refrain from distractions such as texting or talking on the phone. Also, never wear a headset so you can hear when traffic is approaching. Be alert and look ahead for possible hazards that could cause you to lose control of your bike or crash into a vehicle.

Involved in a Boating Accident? We’re Here to Help

If you or someone you love has been involved in a boating accident caused by recklessness, our team is here to protect your rights. We’re passionate about standing up for plaintiffs’ rights, and we want to fight for you.

Contact DiPasquale Moore today at (888) 743-1030 to schedule a free consultation.

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