An injury can happen anytime and anywhere. During the summer, however, there is an increase in potential for danger due to the increase of people on the road headed to vacations and the increase in outdoor activities. In this episode we will cover unique summer injury situations as well as other accidents that may occur throughout a year.
The majority of car accidents happen during the daytime with clear driving conditions. More fatalities happen in rural areas whiel the majority of injuries happen in urban areas.
Speed is a cause in nearly 1/3 of all auto accidents involving one or more fatalities.
Studies show that there is a 40-55% decrease in risk of a serious or fatal injury when seatbelts are involved. However, there are many drivers who still refuse to wear seatbelts.
Risk of a collision is four times higher when cell phone use is involved rather than not being used.
It is common for a victim to be unaware of injury immediately following a whiplash car accident. This is due to whiplash injuries not presenting itself for at least 12 to 24 hours after the initial impact.
Playground Injuries (resource: www.cdc.gov)
There are more than 200,000 children between the ages of 0-14 that are treated in an emergency room each year for playground related injuries.
Approximately 75% of nonfatal, playground related injuries occur on public playgrounds; most happen at schools and childcare centers. Approximately 45% of those injuries are severe and consist of internal injuries, dislocations, fractures, concussions, and amputations.
In the 1990’s, 147 children under the age of 14 died from an injury stemming from an accident on a playground. Of those 147 children, 20% died from falls and 56% suffered death from strangulation. Most of those deaths happened on playground equipment at a home.
Climber equipment is responsible for more injuries on public playgrounds than any other type of equipment. On home playground equipment, swings are the most likely cause of an injury.
A study in New York City found that playgrounds in low-income areas had more maintenance-related hazards than playgrounds in high-income areas. For example, playgrounds in low-income areas had significantly more trash, rusty play equipment, and damaged fall surfaces. There was a study in New York City that discovered playgrounds in high-income areas were less hazardous than low-income areas, mostly due to maintenance; low-income area playgrounds had more rusty play equipment, trash, and fall surfaces that were damaged.
Boating Injuries (reference: www.cdc.gov)
There are more than 70 million americans who enjoy recreational boating every year. There are currently over 13 million annual boat registrations, which is an increase from 10 million in 1988. Between 1988 and now there has been a decrease in boating related fatalities, mostly due to an increase in the use of personal flotation devices or life jackets.
The largest cause of a boating related fatality is drowing, the remainder are caused by hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning, or other causes. Open boats are involved in half of the reported incidents.
Boating related incidents in 2008 involved 3,330 injuries and more than 700 fatalities. Of the people who died due to drowing incidents, 9 our of 10 failed to wear a life preserver.
More than 72% of boating fatalities in 2008 involved a drowing.
A leading contributor in boating fatalities was alcohol involvement.
According to the United States Eye Injury Registry, approximately 12,000 people are treated by emergency rooms annually for injuries involving fireworks; injuries include burns to the wrists, hands, arms and eyes. Approximately 50% of those injuries were inflicted on bystanders. About two thirds of eye injuries related to fireworks were a direct result of someone using bottle rockets.
Children under the age of 14 made up 40% of those injured by fireworks last year; most of them were bystanders.
Of the injuries suffered by children in accidents involving fireworks, 10% of those children’s injuries will have permanent damage; the loss of an eye or finger. Something to think about: sparklers will burn at about 2,000 degrees; this is hot enough to melt gold. Sparklers are to blame for three fourths of all fireworks related injuries for children under the age of 5.
Slip and Fall
Businesses are expected to notify and warn all customers of any conditions that would be unsafe; for example, wet floors that could be slippery. In addition to their duty to notify customers of these dangers, they are also expected to take reasonable measures to be proactive in preventing any other potential dangers like securing merchandise that could fall, containing toxic fumes, enclosing any wires that are left exposed. If a business fails to do what is reasonably expected of them in order to keep their customers safe, they could be held liable for any injuries.
While an owner of a business is expected to make the property reasonably safe, they are not required to do everythign possible to make it safe.
If you are ever a guest in another person’s home, your host would have the same responsiblities as a business owner to notify you of any hazards or known dangers.
There are four typical fall accident scenarios:
- Trip and fall accidents: there is a something foreign in the path where a person is walking
- Stump and fall accidents: where there is an obstruction in the walking surface
- Step and fall accidents: where there is an unanticipated failure or hole in the walking surface
- Slip and fall accidents: where the interface of the shoe and the floor fails
Property owners are not always legally liable for accidents that occur on their premises. In general, property owners have certain responsibilities that are owed to their guests, employees, or customers. When an injury occurs due to an unsafe condition on the property, the owner may be liable if they…
There are some situations where property owners are not liable for an accident that occurred on their property. As stated previously, property owners have certain duties to their guests, employees, or customers. A property owner may be held liable for injuries that occurred on their property due to unsafe conditions if:
- they failed to clean a spill up
- they were aware of the condition, but failed to correct the issues or fix the issue enough to prevent harm to others
- they should have known by making routine inspections or having the same knowledge as any reasonable person