If you are anywhere from the age of 1 to 44, you may be surprised to learn that the leading cause of death for your age group isn’t cancer or heart problems or any medical condition for that matter. According to the CDC, the thing that kills more 1 to 44 year old people in the United States than any other cause is unintentional injury. Unintentional injury is a broad term that includes things such as bike accidents, car accidents, accidents inside the home, and any other type of accident that leads to death. While it may be concerning to realize that you are at risk for the number one cause of death no matter how healthy you might be, the good news is that these accidents can be prevented with basic safety protocols.
Basic Home Safety
Inside the home, two of the main causes of death by unintentional injury are related to fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. If you can prepare for and avoid these two risks, you’ll make your home a much safer place.
Start by installing smoke alarms in your home and ensuring that they are kept up to date. For details on where you should place your smoke alarms, you can check out these recommendations from the National Fire Protection Association. You’ll also want to test your smoke alarms at least once a month and replace their batteries once a year. If your smoke alarm starts chirping, replace its batteries regardless of whether a year has passed or not. To help prevent fires in your home, make sure that all of your appliances are in good condition and that you have no exposed wires anywhere in your home.
Next, you’ll want to prepare for the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning by installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Since carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas, having a detector in place is the only way you’ll be able to know whether or not there is an unsafe level of carbon monoxide in your home before it’s too late. Carbon monoxide can come from a variety of sources, from a gas leak in your home to a vehicle that is left running in an attached garage, so it’s important to keep yourself safe from this deadly gas.
If you protect yourself against fire and carbon monoxide as well as follow basic home safety protocols and common sense safety such as not using electrical appliances near water and not standing on top of tables and chairs, you can avoid most fatal accidents that take place in the home.
Basic Safety on the Road
For most people, getting out on the highway is the most dangerous activity that they will participate in on a regular basis. While the threat of other drivers and their own shortcomings makes it impossible to eliminate the risk of car accidents entirely, there are some basic safety tips that you can use to make the road a much safer place for you and your passengers.
Start by always following the speed limit as well as all other traffic laws. The faster you drive, the more likely you are to have an accident. Keep a safe following distance between you and the vehicle in front of you at all times so you will have time to react if they come to a sudden stop, and scan the road with your eyes to ensure you are being watchful and to avoid “tunnel vision”. Never drive if you are drowsy, intoxicated, or otherwise impaired, and always avoid distractions such as texting while you are driving. If you have small children in your vehicle, keep them in car seats for as long as they are able to fit inside a car seat. Car accidents are especially dangerous for small children, but car seats can do a lot to protect them from injury if you have a wreck.
Unfortunately, riding a bike on the road can be just as dangerous as driving a car, and bike accidents involving a bike and a motor vehicle are often fatal for the person on the bike. Always stay in bike lanes if you are able to, and never ride your bike inside a lane that is used by vehicles. Make sure you have reflectors installed on your bike, and wear reflective clothing as well if you are able. Always wear a quality helmet when you are riding your bike as well. Lastly, keep a watchful eye on the vehicles around you. Being watchful and vigilant is an important basic safety tip no matter what you are driving, but it is especially important when you are riding a bike on a road that is used by much larger, faster vehicles.
What to do if You Suffer an Unintentional Injury
While basic safety can go a long way towards preventing car accidents, bike accidents, and all other types of accidents, the stark reality is that unintentional accidents are often unavoidable. Sometimes, it is the neglect and lack of safety demonstrated by another person that will lead to an accident that is no fault of your own.
If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by the neglect of another individual or entity, we urge you to contact us at GOM Law today to learn more about your rights.