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Home : Safety Promotions : News
NEWS | April 29, 2024

Maximize Summer Fun While Minimizing Risks

By Melissa Wenger, Naval Safety Command Safety Promotions-Public Affairs

Prepare for a summer filled with adventure, but acknowledge the potential for misadventure as well. A memorable experience can be overshadowed by a trip to the hospital – or worse. Understand and manage the risks associated with summer activities to minimize the chance of a good time turning bad.

The 101 Critical Days of Summer is the period between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend when off-duty accidents tend to increase across the Navy and Marine Corps. As Sailors and Marines engage in outdoor pursuits and leisure activities, it remains imperative to manage risks proactively. This strategy involves identifying potential hazards, implementing strategies to mitigate harm and making informed decisions.

Complacency often underlies off-duty mishaps during the summer months. Maintain situational awareness with these safety tips in mind:

Self-assess and self-correct – Recreational mishaps are preventable. Regularly evaluate how you spend your time during off-duty hours this summer. Assess risks, adhere to established procedures, comply with relevant laws and know your limits.

Educate others – Ensure everyone participating in the activity is familiar with the day's plan, proper equipment operation and emergency procedures. Sharing best practices with others helps reinforce proper procedures in your memory and ensures all participants can effectively address emergency situations.

The best prevention is preparation – Prioritize hydration, ensure communication devices are fully charged, carry spare gear, apply sunscreen, dress appropriately and engage in proper warm-up routines. Anticipating potential challenges and being adequately prepared can mitigate risks.

Motorcycle safety is deadly serious – About 1 in 10 Sailors and Marines own a motorcycle. Riders suffer higher rates of serious injuries and fatalities than other motorists. Complete recommended safety courses, wear appropriate protective gear, and adhere to safety regulations to minimize the likelihood of severe injury or fatality.

Simply drive – Operating a vehicle requires your full attention. Drive defensively, minimize distractions, maintain safe distances, and adhere to traffic laws. Prioritize arriving safely over arriving quickly, and never drive under the influence of alcohol or while fatigued.

Suspect and inspect – As you unpack your summertime gear, conduct a thorough inspection to identify potential hazards before use. Stored items such as your grill, motorcycle, or sports equipment may have sustained damage. Check the fit of all wearable gear and replace or repair any damaged items to safeguard against potential risks.

Refresh your safety mindset – Has anything changed since last summer? Stay abreast of any changes in laws, regulations, or resources pertinent to your summer activities. Review your regular route, reread the owner's manuals, or take a refresher course to remain informed and prepared.

The sobering statistics from previous summers underscore the importance of these precautions. By prioritizing safety, Sailors and Marines can mitigate personal harm and safeguard their well-being and that of their loved ones. Take a moment to reflect on these considerations throughout the summer — your vigilance could save lives.

Visit the Naval Safety Command’s 101 Critical Days of Summer safety campaign webpage at for more tips and summer safety resources.