In 2016, the United States had a record 161,374 accidental deaths. According to the National Safety Council, every three minutes someone dies from a preventable accident. And every second, an American is injured in a preventable accident. These figures include motor vehicle accidents, falls, drownings, drug overdoses, etc. Obviously, we can and must do better. Safety on our roads, in our homes and in our businesses must become as much as a priority as curing cancer and preventing heart disease (the other top three leading causes of death)
Here are some things you can do to protect yourself and your family:
- Despite vast improvements in vehicle design and safety technology, motor vehicle deaths rose 6.8 percent to 40,237 in 2016 (the 2017 data is not completed yet). This issue really boils down to us becoming more conscientious drivers. Buckle up, slow down, maintain your vehicle’s brakes, tires, lights, etc. Put down your phone, leave plenty of room between your vehicle and others, don’t drink and drive. We all know what to do, but we are just not doing it. We need to start acting like our lives depend upon us doing these things because quite simply they do.
- To minimize drowning risk, closely supervise children in the pool and bath. Gather towels, sunscreen, bath toys, etc. before your child enters the water. Install appropriate fencing, alarms and drains for all pools. Use door alarms to sound an alert when a door leading to a pool is opened. Swim lessons and CPR classes can help prevent drowning deaths. And always use life-jackets as appropriate especially at lakes and rivers where depths and water clarity can make a water rescue difficult. If you own a boat dock with an electrical lift, here are some additional safety tips. If you own a pool, be sure to review our website pages on pool safety.
- Falls can happen to anyone but present the greatest risk for older adults. Install grab bars and slip-resistant mats in showers and baths. Secure loose rugs. Use nightlights to prevent tripping in the dark. Eliminate clutter such as pet toys, electrical cords and other tripping hazards. Ensure frequently used items are easily accessible so a step ladder is not necessary to retrieve them.
- Home fires occur every 86 seconds. Cooking equipment is the number one cause of home fires but smoking, children playing with fire, electrical issues and candles are also common causes. Make sure your home is equipped with working smoke detectors and replace the batteries as required. Keep a fire extinguisher in our home. Make and practice a fire emergency plan so that everyone knows how to escape and where to meet after evacuation. Teach children both “stop, drop and roll” and also to not play with fire or candles and not to open doors that are hot.
Unfortunately there is still not a cure for cancer, but we can prevent accidental deaths with education and good safety habits. Of course, even if we do everything right, we can still be hurt by someone else who is not as conscientious. And if you or a family member is hurt, we are here to help. Our award-winning lawyers handle all accident cases on a contingency basis which means we only get paid if we win. And, the initial consultation is free and confidential. If you want to know if you have a case, give us a call at 615-742-4880 (Nashville) or 615-867-9900 (Murfreesboro) or 866-812-8787 (toll-free).