Summer is the peak travel season in the US. This is the time when the kids are out of school and parents schedule their family vacations. The warmer weather means backyard barbecues, family road trips, and more days at the beach. And this year, things finally seem to be getting closer to normal as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic seem to be waning.
While summer is a great time to vacation with the family and get together with friends, it is important to do so responsibly. First of all, remember that even though a large percentage of our population has been vaccinated and restrictions have been loosened, people can still contract the Covid-19 virus if they are not careful.
Continue to follow social distancing requirements, use plenty of hand sanitizer wherever you go, and wear face coverings when they are required. You should also find out what coronavirus restrictions exist in the areas where you will be traveling. This is particularly important if you are planning to visit other countries, because many of them still have Covid testing protocols and quarantine requirements.
In addition to avoiding Covid, there are several other hazards to be aware of as you go about your summer travels:
Georgia can get scorching hot in the summertime, with high humidity and temperatures routinely getting up into the high 90s or even breaking 100. Spending too much time outdoors, particularly during the hottest hours of the afternoon, can cause exhaustion, fatigue and even heat stroke. This is a common problem in many outdoor work settings, such as construction and landscaping. Extreme heat can also be very dangerous if someone is left in a car with the windows closed.
To help minimize the risks of heat exhaustion, try to spend most of your time outdoors during the morning and evening hours, and minimize your time spent during the hot afternoons. If you must be out during the heat of the day, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, preferably cold beverages with high electrolytes. If you are working outdoors, take frequent breaks and try to cool off for a while in an air-conditioned setting if possible. Lastly, NEVER leave a child or animal in a hot vehicle even for a few minutes.
One of the things that can make the heat unbearable in the summertime is the hot sun. Many people enjoy relaxing in the sun and working on their tan but being out there too long can cause sunburn. If you plan to be in the sun, always put on plenty of sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. And if you are going to be swimming, make sure your sunscreen is waterproof.
Whether you are at a pool or on one of Georgia’s beautiful beaches, it is important to be aware of the risks of diving and drowning accidents. Diving in water that is too shallow can cause serious injuries, and swimming in water that is too deep without adequate training and experience can cause someone to drown. If you are going to a pool or beach with the family, keep a close eye on your children, especially the younger ones. Also make it a point to swim only at places where there is a lifeguard on duty.
Summer road trips combined with road construction inevitably leads to more traffic congestion and vehicle crashes. Many drivers are impatient and speed through construction zones, putting themselves and others on the road at risk. Driver fatigue is also a concern because of motorists driving for long hours in hot weather, and distracted driving can be a problem when out of town drivers spend too much time looking at their GPS.
Before going on a long road trip, be sure you have plenty of rest, especially if you are the driver. It is also a good idea to have multiple drivers, so each one can get an adequate amount of rest while on the road. Finally, have someone other than the driver navigate the GPS so the driver can stay focused on the road.
Many summer travelers bring their dogs with them on road trips. It is great to have your pet along with you when you travel, but keep in mind that when a dog is in unfamiliar surroundings and encounters strange faces, this can sometimes trigger erratic behavior. Always keep a close eye on your pets when you are out and about with them, and make sure they are never allowed to wander away where they might go after strangers.
Contact Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. for Legal Help
We at Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. hope you have a safe and enjoyable summer vacation. But if you or someone close to you suffers an injury because of the negligence of another person or party, we are here to help. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call us anytime at 678-981-5370 or send us an online message.