Memorial Day weekend is considered the kickoff of summer, but it is also the beginning of the season when there are more car crashes, swimming injuries and other accidents. The holiday was established to commemorate the U.S. Armed Forces and those who have served their country, and while some still view the holiday for what it is, some just see it as a time to celebrate being off for three days. Many people look forward to the last weekend of May because it’s the start of cookouts and other fun summer activities that last until Labor Day.
Just what kind of dangers can lie in what should be a fun long weekend? Let’s take a look. If you have a loved one that is using or drinking too much, get them quality drug and alcohol rehab in Raleigh NC. Call Legacy Freedom!
Memorial Day Dangers and Alcohol
Memorial Day weekend is the start of the season with the highest rate of car accidents, according to statistics from the Institute for Highway Safety. They reported that, in 2013, the highest number of motor vehicle crash deaths happened between June and October. Memorial Day weekend has over 13 percent more traffic related fatalities than non-holiday weekends, according to reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It was also revealed that the Monday of Memorial Day has 32 percent more fatalities than the three days before because of the increased number of people on the road returning from trips over the long weekend.
Alcohol plays a factor in many of the accidents on the road. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), drunk driving increases during Memorial Day weekend. In 2010, 158 people were killed in crashes related to alcohol.
Memorial Day is a good weekend to get the boat out on the water for the first time, but many people don’t think about the dangers of boating. Statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard report that 560 fatalities, 2,620 injuries, and close to $39 million dollars in property damage occurred in 2013 due to boating accidents. One of the primary factors involved was alcohol. Boating while under the influence is illegal in most states, although many people may not see it as dangerous. Not only is driving a boat while impaired dangerous, but being on a boat while drinking can increase the risk of accidentally falling overboard.
Swimming Pool Accidents
Many people get their swimming pools ready for Memorial Day so they can start enjoying them, but they can pose a threat, especially for children. The government agency dedicated to informing the public about pool safety information PoolSafely.gov reports that 174 children under 15 drowned in pools or spas between Memorial Day and Labor Day in 2014. Of the 174, 112 were under the age of five. Many of those children did not know how to swim.
While most of the deaths in swimming pools occur because someone didn't know how to swim, alcohol can play a factor in some cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), among adults and teenagers, nearly 70 percent of deaths associated with water recreation involve alcohol use. If someone you care about has a drinking problem, call Legacy Freedom. We offer affordable drug and alcohol rehab in Raleigh NC.
How to Keep Your Family Safe
There are ways to keep your family safe this Memorial Day weekend. Educate your children, especially teenagers, about the dangers of drinking. Underage drinking shouldn’t be tolerated in your home, even if it is a holiday. If you allow them “just a sip” because it’s a holiday, you are sending mixed messages about what is allowed and what is not. Plus, it is illegal for anyone under 21 to drink.
Explain to your children the dangers of drinking while driving, and the risk of getting in the car with someone who has been drinking. Tell them you will always be there if they need a ride or get into a situation where they need help. Did know that Legacy Freedom also offers drug and alcohol rehab in Raleigh NC that is specifically designed for teens? Call today to learn more.
If you know your family will be on a boat, make sure that anyone who does not know how to swim wears a life jacket. Limit the amount of alcohol you and other adult family members consume while out on a boat. Being tipsy on an already unsteady platform can cause someone to accidentally go overboard.
When you and your family are at a swimming pool, always keep an eye on children. If they do not know how to swim, make sure they are wearing appropriate floating gear. If you spend a lot of time at pools, consider getting swimming lessons for your children.
If there is alcohol being consumed while at a swimming pool, try to limit how much you and your adult family members have. It can be easy to drink too much when outside on a warm day. Try to rotate alcoholic drinks with regular drinks or water in order to avoid becoming too intoxicated too quickly.
Memorial Day Alternatives
If you’re tired of alcohol fueled cookouts and don’t want to go out on a boat this year, there are other options. You can spend your three day weekend doing something different this year. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Most cities have a celebration on Memorial Day to honor those who served. They are usually located in a church or cemetery. Some towns have parades.
2. If you are in recovery and meet with a group regularly, see if they want to have a low-key picnic, or go to dinner at a restaurant. You will be around other sober people, which can help you feel supported if most of the other people you know will be drinking over the holiday.
3. Volunteer for the day at a local charity. Non-profits can always use help, especially during the year. Many people only think about volunteering at Christmas or Thanksgiving, but these organizations can use the help year round.
4. If you put off spring cleaning this year, spend the three day weekend decluttering your house. Having a clean home can do wonders for your outlook. Put away those winter clothes and get ready for the summer months.
Memorial Day weekend can be the start of a fun and safe summer for your family this year. If you are in recovery, then it can be the start of a sober summer where you can enjoy the weather and activities involved with the warmer months without relying on alcohol.
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