When Memorial Day comes around each year, we know it is the start of summer. Since many families in Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina spend time outdoors and take vacations, now is the perfect time to think more about summer safety, Memorial Day safety, and ensuring that your family remains healthy throughout the season.
In the event that you or someone you love does sustain a serious injury this summer, an experienced Western North Carolina personal injury lawyer can help.
History of Memorial Day
When we gather around the picnic table or head out of town for a Memorial Day vacation, few of us think about the history of the holiday. According to an article from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Memorial Day officially became a holiday three years after the end of the Civil War in 1868. At that time, the Grand Army of the Republic (an organization made up of Union veterans) established May 30 as “Decoration Day,” or a time to decorate the graves of those killed in the Civil War.
The first Decoration Day celebration occurred at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C., followed by other local celebrations. Soon, however, other localities argued that they had long been decorating the graves of the war dead. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson and the Congress declared that the birthplace of Memorial Day actually occurred in 1866 — two years before the official Declaration Day. At any rate, we have been celebrating Memorial Day as a nation since the end of the 19th century.
Staying Safe on Memorial Day and Throughout the Summer
For many Americans, Memorial Day and the start of summer signal that it is time for swimming, boating, cookouts, and road trips. Yet each of these activities comes with accident risks.
How can you keep your family safe? When it comes to outdoors activities at home, a safety tip sheet from the National Safety Council (NSC) and a grilling safety sheet from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend the following:
- Avoid heat-related illnesses and injuries by wearing appropriate clothing, using sunblock, and taking breaks for water.
- Avoid drowning incidents by finding swimming lessons for your child that are age-appropriate and always remain vigilant whenever your child is in or around a pool or open water.
- Always practice firework safety to prevent fires or burn injuries.
- Always set up your grill outdoors, well away from your home or any deck areas, and well away from your children and pets.
- Never leave a grill unattended.
What about summer road trip safety? A safety tip sheet from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends the following:
- Check for any vehicle recalls before you leave, as defective products can cause crashes.
- Get your car serviced and ensure that your tires are highway-ready.
- Wear your seatbelt every time you get into the car.
- Avoid risky driving behaviors, such as distracted driving, aggressive driving, drowsy driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).
- Share the road with motorcyclists and bicyclists.
- Never leave a child unattended in a parked car.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Serving Upstate S.C. and Western N.C.
It is important to follow tips for Memorial Day safety and summer safety. If an accident happens, a personal injury lawyer in Asheville can help. Contact Grimes Teich Anderson LLP to discuss your legal options.