Sheriff offers July 4 safety tips
With the July Fourth weekend upon us, Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher is asking everyone to make it a fun but safe holiday.
Haywood County citizens should remember that fireworks, as enjoyable as they are to watch, can be dangerous and should only be handled by professionals. According to the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission, there are nearly 9,000 emergency room-treated injuries associated with fireworks a year. You can enjoy a safe Fourth of July by following these safety tips:
- Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
- Keep a supply of water close-by as a precaution.
- Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
- Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
- Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
- Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.
- Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.
Traditionally during the July 4th weekend, our highways experience one of the highest traffic flows of the year. The sheriff also reminds all Haywood County residents to follow these safety tips:
• Always shift your attention every few seconds, constantly scanning the road ahead and behind you. Never blankly stare ahead nor fix your gaze on one point on the road.
• When passing an automobile, always glance at the ground beside the front wheel of the car you intend to pass. You will know instantly if the car is about to veer — giving you an extra few seconds to respond.
• Pull out into the opposite lane of traffic when passing while you are still well behind the car in front. This should give you some time and space to build up speed and will enable you to pull back into your own lane should the need arise. Never cut abruptly out of your lane into the opposite lane when passing.
• Always signal your intentions with your brake lights, turn signals, horn and/or headlights so that other drivers will see you well before you change course.
• Drivers should always “aim high” in steering. That is, you should glance frequently at points well ahead of you. Not only will this help your steering, but it will also help you check the position of vehicles in front of you as well as on-coming ones.
• Never follow too closely. Remember that, as your speed increases, it takes you substantially longer to stop. Also remember that it’s good to have an extra cushion of space in front of you if you’re being tail-gated, on a slippery road, or in low visibility conditions.
“Lastly, I would remind all motorists to be courteous and tolerant of other drivers. Please don’t get angry with bad drivers or reckless ones — just get out of their way,” Sheriff Christopher said in closing. “Let’s make this summer a safe one on the roads in Haywood County.”