fireworksThe upcoming holiday is one of the most important to us here in the U.S., and safety is the last thing on our minds. However, every year people are hurt or killed during the celebration. For example, drunk driving increases in the few days surrounding the 4th of July, especially when it falls near the weekend. A little caution can go a long way in keeping you and your family safe.

Safe driving tips

  • Always wear your seatbelt, and make sure your passengers do too.
  • If you plan to drink, have a designated driver. If you drink, don’t drive.
  • Increase your following distance and your awareness of other drivers. Stay off your cell phone and pay extra attention to the road.
  • Minimize your time on the road between midnight and 7 a.m.
  • Turn on your headlights so other drivers can see you.
  • Report any suspected drunk drivers to law enforcement. Put emergency and non-emergency numbers in your cell phone and hand it to your passenger to make the call.
  • Make sure your car is in good condition, that all tires including the spare are properly inflated, and that you have a first-aid kit, roadside tool kit, water, food, and a flashlight.

As you know, fireworks are legal in South Carolina, but any firework can be dangerous if handled carelessly. Sparklers, often thought to be “safe,” can reach temperatures of 2,000 degrees. Common sense will help you use fireworks responsibly.

Handling fireworks safely

  • Don’t set off fireworks in any enclosed area.
  • Wear safety glasses.
  • Keep a hose or several buckets of water nearby at all times.
  • Make sure hair is tied back and clothing isn’t loose, especially when using sparklers.
  • Don’t combine fireworks hoping for a big show.
  • If you have a dud, wait at least 15 minutes, hose it down, then pick up with a shovel and soak in a bucket of water.
  • Always buy fireworks from a vendor. Don’t use homemade fireworks.

Have a happy and safe 4th!

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motorcycle winter tips

Post written by Mandi, Uricchio Law Firm’s legal assistant

Lowcountry riders have the luxury of mild winters, generally free from freezing temperatures and cold weather hazards such as black-ice, but don’t underestimate the powerful effect that the wind can have on your ride.

Windchill can turn an enjoyable motorcycle ride into a highly uncomfortable one.

To protect yourself consider the following tips:

  • Add a windshield to your motorcycle for the winter months.
  • Wear a motorcycle helmet that provides some face and neck protection.
  • Purchase motorcycle gloves with pre-curved fingers, which allow you to comfortably squeeze the throttle.

In the cold months, the best way to keep warm on your motorcycle ride is to be well-insulated. Try dressing in layers.  The bottom layer should always be some type of snug fitting thermal or fleece article of clothing.  Number of layers and types of fabrics will depend on the person and the outside temperature, but remember the layering should not affect your mobility.

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