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Don't fall victim to common accidents this summer

The days are long and the nights are warm again. It's summertime in Montana and everyone is eager to get outside and enjoy our beautiful, massive landscape. Accidents happen, though. Keep that in mind in the coming months when you're out at the grill, going off-road on the ATV or heading out for a weekend.

Activities we do every summer can result in injuries and worse. Remember to have an action plan ready if you suffer an accident. It could save your life, or the life of someone you care about.

Stay safe grilling

Grilling may as well be considered a pastime of the summer months. Whether you prefer charcoal or gas, there is something special about cooking outside with friends and family. Grills have dangerous potential however, and can cause serious injury.

That was the case for ESPN sports journalist Hannah Storm when she suffered serious burns after trying to light her propane grill last December. Storm only recently returned to work, and is still recovering from first and second degree burns. According to USA Today, propane gas had pooled around Storm's grill and ignited like a fireball when she went to light the burner.

Take an extra few moments to stay safe when grilling this season. If you do suffer an accident, your grill may be at fault, and you may be owed compensation from the manufacturer. Speak to an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more.

Stay safe riding

When the weather gets nice, the buzzing and revving of ATVs tearing around the countryside is nearly synonymous with birds singing. Remember that like any motor vehicle there is an element of risk that comes with operating your ATV. Accidents happen, and they often happen without warning, so keep yourself protected while riding this season.

The best ways to keep yourself safe while on a ride may seem obvious, but if more people followed them, then we would have fewer accidents each year:

  • Wear the gear - Be sure to always wear a DOT-compliant helmet, eye protection, long sleeves and pants, boots and gloves.
  • Stay on the path - ATVs are not designed to be driven on paved roads. Doing so only increases wear and tear on your machine and your chances of being hit by a car.
  • Ride sober - Never operate your ATV while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is unsafe and can result in a DUI charge no different from if you were driving a car.
  • Protect younger riders - Be sure to supervise riders younger than 16 and ensure that they are riding vehicles appropriate for their size.

ATVs are thrilling machines to ride, but they are not toys. Show them - and Montana operating laws - the proper respect and you'll end the summer with some great rides under your belt.

Summer is the perfect time of year to see family and reconnect with friends. Enjoy your time in the hills, at the barbecue and around the fire pit. Keep yourself and others safe and have a wonderful season.

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