How to Have Fun and Stay Safe This Memorial Day Weekend
Tips for Safe Road Trips, Swimming Pools, Cookouts, and More
On Memorial Day, we take time to remember our country's fallen military heroes. Many Americans also use Memorial Day weekend as an opportunity to spend time with friends and loved ones, and take part in classic, warm-weather activities. Even though it's not the official start of summer, many consider Memorial Day the kickoff with pools and amusement parks open for business.
Many of the activities that usually accompany this long weekend come with added safety risks. Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, which puts drivers at risk for car accidents. Outdoor cookouts and newly-open pools come with their own set of safety concerns. And with boating and bicycling seasons kicking into high gear—opportunities for injury abound.
No one's weekend plans include a trip to the ER, so be on the lookout at your cookout to prevent accidents this weekend. Keep an eye out for these potential safety hazards so you can have the safest and most fun Memorial Day weekend ever.
Traffic volume increases substantially over this holiday weekend due to those driving to visit friends and family. Whenever the number of cars on roadways increases, so do accidents. Review these 6 Dangerous Things You Do on Road Trips for tips on how to stay safe.
Drinking and driving also contributes to car accidents this time of year. Statistics show that alcohol-related crashes increase on long holiday weekends like Memorial Day weekend. If you plan to include alcohol as part of your festivities, please celebrate responsibly. Sign our Safe Driving pledge, and set a good example by promising to not drink and drive.
Thousands of people and organizations open up their pools as part of their Memorial Day weekend celebrations. It's easy to forget common safety procedures over the long winter, and this could lead to accidents.
First, do a safety check of your pool and the surrounding area:
- Does your pool have a self-locking, self-closing fence and meet other residential building codes?
- You should have a pole, rope, and flotation devices around the pool ready to use in case of emergency.
- Remove the pool cover completely before using the pool. Put it back on and secure it when you're done using it.
Second, share pool rules with everyone before they swim—whether in your backyard pool or at the community pool.
- Never leave children unsupervised around water, even if they know how to swim.
- Never dive into the swimming pool, unless the deep end is 6+ feet deep. You should have signs posted where diving is and isn't permitted.
- Don't swim during a thunderstorm. Wait at least 30 minutes from the last time you hear thunder or see lightening before allowing swimmers back in the pool.
Cookouts and picnics are a breeding ground for bacteria and foodborne illnesses. However, you can help prevent food poisoning by being prepared.
- Cook beef, veal, lamb steaks, roasts, and chops to 145°F. Keep the meat covered as it sits, and refrigerate it soon after guests are finished eating. Never serve meat with the same utensils you used to cook it.
- Keep salads and other perishable products, such as mayonnaise, cheese, and milk, in coolers filled with ice as people eat.
- If you are serving food at a buffet, keep food hot with chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays.
If you're spending Memorial Day weekend on a boat, canoe, or jet ski make sure you review these safety tips first:
- Follow all boating laws that apply to you. View Pennsylvania's Boating Laws.
- Always wear a life jacket, and carry a life jacket for every person on board the watercraft. Also carry several throwable personal flotation devices.
- Don't operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or even prescription medications that may make you drowsy.
Learn even more with our Best Boating Safety Tips.
Memorial Day weekend's warm weather is the perfect invitation to hop back on your bicycle for a ride. Make safety a priority by checking out these 8 Ways to Spring Back into Bicycle Season.
Our Bicycle Safety Resource Center is designed to help you understand Pennsylvania's Bicycle Safety Law, protect your legal rights, and get all of the safety information you need:
Holidays are about enjoying time with friends and family—unfortunately, they are sometimes interrupted by accidents that aren't your fault. If you or a loved one has been in an accident, contact Edgar Snyder & Associates for help. You may have a case.