Summer is nearly here, and the joys of water activities and cookouts with friends and family are just around the corner. Amidst all of this are the first responders who keep our communities safe. June is known as National Safety Month, a reminder to be aware of how your actions can impact others while off having fun. After a few years that have been difficult for nurses, firefighters, police officers, and EMT responders, it is more important than ever for us to work together to keep each other safe. Let's break down some of the most common summer incidents and how to avoid them.

Car accidents

Whether it is a much-anticipated road trip or packing the car up for a camping trip, there is no doubt you'll be hopping into a motor vehicle at some point this summer. It can be easy to forget how common and dangerous a car accident can be. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 42,915 motor vehicle accidents resulted in fatalities in 2021, 11% of which occurred from June to September. Avoid these common causes of collision:

  • Driving under the influence.
  • Distracted driving.
  • Irresponsible or reckless driving.

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

Accidental drowning

As the weather warms up, people flock to rivers, lakes, pools and water parks. This can be an enjoyable pastime and a great way to cool down while making lasting memories. However, the dangers of accidental drowning are very real and should be taken seriously. Stop Drowning Now reports that there is an average of 320,000 deaths as a result of drowning each year, and have increased since the beginning of the pandemic. In addition, they found that "drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1-4." Here are some of the most effective ways to prevent drowning:

  • Learning to swim.
  • Life jackets.
  • Know CPR or basic life-saving skills.
  • Be watchful.

Fires started by people

According to the USDA, 90% of all wildfires are caused by humans, many of which happen in the summer. This is due to:

  • Unattended campfires.
  • Discarded cigarettes.
  • Fireworks.
  • Equipment usage.

This is why it is so important to be mindful and aware of your surroundings. Be sure to completely distinguish campfires and never set off fireworks in a dangerous area. Fires can result in human harm, structure damage and wildland deterioration.

Boating accidents

Boating in the summer is one of the most beloved activities, but it does require an eye for safety. Whether you are setting sail on a lake or an ocean, it is important to know the dangers associated with boating. The Coast Guard reports that the following are some of the most common causes of boating accidents:

  • Operator inexperience: Be sure that the operator is capable of operating a boat well. 
  • Boating too fast: Speeding is very dangerous and can result in a boating accident. 
  • Not having a lookout: The Coast Guard suggests that every boat has someone who is keeping a lookout for dangers on the horizon. 
  • Operating while under the influence: Boating while impaired is just as harmful as driving while drunk. 
  • Poor weather conditions: Boating in a storm or other dangerous weather can be treacherous. 

Now you know what to watch out for while you're enjoying the long days of summer. National Safety Month is a great time to become CPR certified or just be more mindful during your warm-weather activities. Your community and first responders will thank you!