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Avoid summer-ending injuries at the cottage this year

Cottage season is in full swing in Ontario, meaning that each weekend major cities empty and small towns in Muskoka, the Rideau Lakes, Kenora, and dozens of other regions swell with seasonal newcomers. Will Davidson LLP’s personal injury lawyers work out of offices in Midland, Orillia, and Huntsville to serve cottage country residents.

The cottage is a place of rest and relaxation for many big-city Ontarians, but it’s also a place where injuries can occur. In today’s blog, we’ll go over some guidelines to help you stay injury-free this summer.

It all starts on the road

As all personal injury lawyers know, the majority of personal injuries occur in car accidents, which is why your cottage safety guide begins on the road. On Friday afternoons in June, July and August, it isn’t uncommon to see traffic backed-up for kilometres on the routes out of Toronto. The combination of week-ending fatigue, steamy weather and frustrating road conditions can lead to reckless driving decisions. While driving up to the cottage this summer, do your best to avoid major arterial roads by taking alternative routes and leaving work early. Stay cool and collected on the trip, too – cutting a few minutes off your drive with dangerous maneuvers isn’t worth a serious injury.

On the water

If there’s a polar opposite to being stuck in traffic on the 401, it’s boating on one of Ontario’s hundreds of thousands of lakes. We discussed boat safety in detail at WillDavidson.ca and how personal injury lawyers can help boating accident victims recover last month, but it’s never a bad time to brush up on the basics.

First and foremost, never drink and boat: more than a hundred Canadians die in boating accidents each year, with alcohol playing a role in more than 40 per cent of those fatalities.

It’s also important to wear a life jacket: only about 13 per cent of individuals who die in boating accidents wear one.

Finally, always make sure to keep your boating licence updated and be aware of the condition of your craft. Check fuel lines and tanks before heading onto the water, and ensure that the boat is stocked with safety equipment.

Fire safety

Camp fires are the cherry-on-top of long summer days at the cottage, but they also carry certain inherent risks. Before you light your first campfire of the season, make sure you clear away low overhanging branches, which could cause serious damage if lit.

You should also ensure that your roof and eavestroughs are cleared of dry twigs and leaves, which are highly flammable. Most cottages are made of wood, and a stray ember from your campfire could spread quickly if it came to rest in a trough filled with dry debris.

Watch out for one another

Nothing ruins summertime like an injury. While you’re at the cottage this season, keep an eye on your friends and family to ensure that they’re behaving safely and avoiding unnecessary risks. And, if someone should suffer an injury, contact the personal injury lawyers at Will Davidson LLP to find out how we can help.


Photo credit: Gary J. Wood/Flickr

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