Labor Day is fast approaching, and Nashville is going to have a lot of events and festivals to celebrate. We know how much fun Labor Day weekend can be, but we also know that people can be seriously injured in car crashes, at parks, and at backyard barbeques. At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, we take your safety and your health seriously, and we want you to know you can count on us if you get hurt on Labor Day weekend.
The “100 Deadliest Days of Summer” is still in effect
The “100 Deadliest Days” runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day: June 1st through August 31st (even though Labor Day is technically September 2nd). The average number of fatal car crashes on Labor Day weekend is close to 400. The primary causes of those fatalities are:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue
- Not wearing a seat belt
Any one of these causes can lead to a fatal car crash, but on a long weekend, the chances are good that you might have a distracted, partially impaired, exhausted driver trying to get home fast, to beat the traffic. Even if you and your family have obeyed all the rules, other drivers may not. It is crucial that you pay attention – and remember: Tennessee is now hands-free, and you WILL be ticketed if you’re caught using your phone without being hands-free.
Top 4 tourist activities that can lead to injuries on Labor Day Weekend
Labor Day weekend is a popular time for tourism, and even people who live in and around Nashville will take advantage of the long weekend to engage in some fun in the sun. All of the extra tourists, though, can increase your chances of being hurt in:
- Boating and water accidents. Labor Day is popular for boat rides, swimming, and jet skiing. It’s also a popular for drinking. This can be a deadly combination. Speeding boaters can create large wakes, which can topple jet skis and force swimmers underwater. If you decide to go boating this year, wear a life jacket at all times, and make sure your captain remains sober.
- Water park injuries. Nashville has a number of “splash pads” this year, which are a big hit with the kids. But even though these splash pads may have little to no standing water, the way they are made can be dangerous. No-slip concrete can cause cuts and scrapes if your child falls, and recycled rubber (or “crumb” rubber) can be slippery. Trips, slips, and falls are fairly common, and that can lead to head and brain injuries or broken bones.
- Helicopter accidents. Lots of people take helicopter tours while they’re on vacation, so they can view just how lovely Tennessee is. But these tourism companies aren’t always safe, and they don’t always keep their copters maintained. In the first six months of 2019, 27 people died in helicopter-related accidents – and according to Rotor & Wing International, “July historically sees a high number of helicopter mishaps.” The July and August numbers aren’t available yet, so it’s possible the number of fatalities is even higher.
- Extreme sports and activities. Bungee jumping, mountain climbing, parasailing, rafting, zip lining – if you like “extreme” sports and activities, these can be high up on your list. But not all companies are created equal, and you can be seriously, permanently injured during any of these activities. Furthermore, some of these companies will require you to sign a waiver, saying that you can’t sue for damages. Rocky McElhaney Law Firm has a lot of experience with these types of cases, and we understand that most of the time, those waivers are non-binding – but that’s not the point. The point is that companies owe you a duty of care to keep you as safe as possible.
- Waterslide Injuries and Liability
- Boating Accidents
- Helicopter Rides Pose Significant Dangers to Tourists
- What Your State Doesn’t Know about Zip Lines Can Kill You
Avoiding the 6 most common Labor Day weekend injuries and illnesses
If you forgo the crowds and tourist spots in favor of a quiet “staycation” or a barbeque with friends, you still want to be safe. Here are some tips to avoid injuries like:
- Burns from grills. The National Fire Protection Association reports that more than 10,000 house fires are started by home grills each year, and approximately 19,000 people visit an ER from a grill-related burn. If you’re going to grill, keep your grill far from the home, and make sure to turn the gas off when it’s not in use.
- Burns and lacerations from fireworks. Close to 9,000 people sustained injuries from fireworks in 2018. Most of the injuries were caused to hands and fingers (28%), but injuries to the legs (24%), eyes (19%) and face/ears (15%) were also fairly common. If you set off fireworks this year, keep them away from children at all costs, and keep a bucket of sand on hand to stop any fires. If you get a “dud,” douse it – don’t relight it.
- Drowning injuries. It only takes seconds for a child to slip beneath the water in a pool. If you have a pool party this year, make sure there is a sober adult who knows how to swim watching the pool, and keep your ladders or fences locked so no one can climb in. Remember, too, that pool floats are not the same as life jackets or other types of floatation devices.
- Injuries from slips, trips, and falls. The most common cause of injury (outside of a vehicle accident) is still trips, slips, and falls. If you’re having people over, make sure the pathways to your home are free of debris and well-lit, and that any handrails you have installed are study. If you have some broken pavers or concrete, make sure they are well-marked so people can avoid them. A fall can lead to broken bones, lacerations, muscle tears, slipped discs, and head and brain injuries.
- Heatstroke, dehydration, and sunburn. Too much time in the sun can be really dangerous. Not only can you risk a severe burn, but you can quickly become dehydrated, or suffer form heatstroke. All of this can happen on a cloudy day, too, if the temperatures are high. Drink lots of water (especially if you’re also drinking a few beers), slather on the sunscreen (at least 30 SPF, and at least 20 minutes before you go outside), wear a hat and sunglasses, and find someplace cool to rest inside the house if you start to feel dizzy or sick. If your symptoms persist, call 9-1-1.
- Food poisoning. That potato salad that’s been sitting out for hours? Ditch it. The USDA advises that food can’t be left out for more than 2 hours; if the temperature is over 90 degrees, it can’t be left out for more than an hour. The best way to avoid getting sick is to keep your food inside and covered, ideally in a cooler or surrounded by ice. Make sure to cook your food all the way through, too.
With a little preparation, you can make sure that you’re safe and sound on Labor Day weekend, whether you decide to stay in or enjoy all that Nashville has to offer. Remember that large crowds can delay emergency response times, so stay off the road if you can. It’ll be safer for you and everyone else.
If you do sustain an injury at one of Nashville’s festivals or parks, or in someone’s back yard, give Rocky McElhaney Law Firm a call. Our dedicated personal injury attorneys are ready to protect your best interests and fight for the recovery and the justice you deserve! To schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in Nashville or Hendersonville, please call 615-425-2500 or use our contact form. We proudly represent clients throughout East Tennessee, and can help visitors from out-of-state.