Going on a Camping Trip? Check the Campground for Safety First!
Millions of Americans go on camping trips to immerse in nature and enjoy a welcomed get away from the maddening urban life together with their friends and families. Some have been exploring campsites and camping destinations for years, knowing every detail regarding safety. Others, newer to this type of adventure, need to prepare a little better. We all know the great outdoors can be dangerous, but how about the campground you chose? Today, we will discuss how to select a campground to avoid injuries and even worse consequences! Here are our top safety tips for campgrounds.
Vetting the Campground is Mandatory
We go out there, in the wilderness, to reconnect with nature, have fun, and get in touch with our feelings. However, as much as we plan for a stress-free camping trip, there are plenty of things that can happen to ruin the dream vacation. As we said, you should treat the great outdoors with respectful fear. From storms putting trees on the ground to animal encounters and hiking accidents, things can sometimes get ugly. In this case, you should feel lucky you survived unscathed and prepare better for the next adventure.
However, when you decide to spend your camping vacation in a campground, you inherently expect to be safe there and have access to reasonable and decent camping conditions. According to the National Park Service, you should do your homework thoroughly when it comes to the location in question because campground negligence could endanger your life. A good place to start is to check online reviews of the campgrounds you are considering on sites like CampGroundReviews or GoodSam.
Have you heard about the boy who suffered life-long irreparable injuries because a dead tree fell on his tent on a campsite? Accidents and injuries can happen all the time, especially on camping trips. Trees can fall, people can slip and break bones, other campers play around with fire, or the ATV you rent from the campsite crashes with you on it.
While you cannot have control over nature or other people, your campground owners and managers have the legal duty to ensure you minimal and reasonable safety conditions. According to Pintas and Mullins lawyers, you should choose a camping destination that has an impeccable reputation when it comes to enforcing safety standards and regulations for all campers. If you or your family suffer accidents or injuries caused by the campground operators’ negligence, they are legally liable.
Campground Negligence Examples
In the practice of law, you might not have a case against a camping site if a perfectly healthy tree falls on your tent during a powerful storm because nobody could reasonably expect or predict such a catastrophic accident. However, if a dead tree falls on your tent, you could hold the campground operators liable because they could reasonably predict a dead tree falling and should have taken the proper measures to secure the premises. Here are some examples of what you need to verify when it comes to campground safety:
- Adequate maintenance of the campground facilities;
- Regular and correct maintenance of equipment and vehicles used by the campers;
- Valid and law-abiding warnings of possible hazards on the premises, including wet bathroom floors, markings on trees that need removal, proper markings of hiking trails, fire hazard warnings, and more;
- Trained personnel and guides that are capable of ensuring the campers’ safety while on the premises;
- Qualified staff that can supervise campers – especially children – and take immediate action in case of emergencies.
If the campground fails to ensure these minimal and reasonable safety measures, you should go somewhere else. The least that can happen to you is to slip on a wet floor and hurt your knee. Among the more severe or even catastrophic injuries you or your loved ones can suffer on a camping site, experts enumerate broken bones, head injuries, burns, amputations, and even death.
You can hold liable a campground operator for such issues in only a handful of cases:
- They knew about a potential hazard or should have reasonably known about it and did nothing to prevent it;
- The potential hazards on the premises did not receive enough warnings, markings, and signs;
- The hazards that led to an injury or accident were not so obvious that any reasonable person could have avoided them.
Camping trips should be fun. Nobody thinks that such an outdoor experience can maim or kill you, although even the C.D.C. has some warnings for campers, seasoned, or beginners alike. However, historically speaking, negligence and misinformation when it comes to camping led to dozens of catastrophic accidents.
Nobody wants to take the fun out of a lovely family getaway in the great outdoors. However, before you hit the road, do a thorough background check of the campsite in question, read the reviews, take note of the current camping safety provisions, and make sure your great escapade does not turn into a medical or legal nightmare!