So, it’s time for our obligatory annual Erie injury lawyer blog about July 4 fireworks safety. I know you’ve heard it all before and so I won’t re-hash our safety tips for you here other than to address two subjects.
First, please review our article on fireworks safety.
Second, and this is going to take a little longer, but think about risk and why it’s so hard for people to appreciate the value of safety. The problem we have is that our brains are wired to help us avoid the sort of danger that is certain but not danger that is uncertain. What do I mean? Well, think about how quickly we learn not to touch an obviously hot stove. Every time we touch an obviously hot stove we get burned and so we learn not to do it. Now, think about coasting through a STOP sign or texting and driving. Do we have an accident every time we coast through a STOP sign or text while driving? Obviously not, and that’s why people continue to coast thru STOP signs and text while driving.
The problem with this is the real nature of risk isn’t determined by the certainty of the risk. Burn yourself on a hot stove and you’ll apply a salve and have a few days of discomfort but you’ll get better. Coast thru a STOP sign and nothing may happen BUT if you have an accident you may seriously injure or kill yourself or someone else. So, you can see that the risk of coasting through a STOP sign is really quite a bit more significant than the risk associated with touching a hot stove despite the fact that our brains aren’t hard-wired to protect us from the greater danger.
We combat the problem of our hard-wiring by thinking. Think about the risk associated with fireworks and you will realize the value in reminding yourself about safety and why following redundant safety measures is important even if you’ve gotten away with some careless behavior in the past.
The Erie injury attorneys and staff at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., P.C. hope you have a great 4th of July and that you and yours enjoy good food, safe fireworks and the society of friends and family.