Tags Posts tagged with "Summer"


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METRO photo

Summer weather draws many people outside. Warm air and sunshine can be hard to resist, even when temperatures rise to potentially dangerous levels. 

Sunburn may be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of spending too much time soaking up summer sun. But while sunburn is a significant health problem that can increase a person’s risk for skin cancer, it poses a less immediate threat than heat stroke, a well-known yet often misunderstood condition.

What is heat stroke?

Heatstroke arises when one’s body temperature climbs to 104 degrees, according to Penn Medicine. A body at this temperature may experience damage to the muscles, heart, kidneys, and brain. 

Johns Hopkins Medicine notes that heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency and the most severe form of heat illness that results from long, extreme exposure to the sun. During this exposure, a person’s built-in cooling system may fail to produce enough sweat to lower body his or her body temperature, putting his or her life at risk as a result. Heat stroke develops rapidly and requires immediate medical treatment. If not treated immediately, heat stroke can prove fatal.

The elderly, infants, people whose occupations require them to work outdoors, and the mentally ill are among the people with an especially high risk of heat stroke. Obesity and poor circulation also increase a person’s risk of suffering heat stroke. Alcohol and certain types of medications also can make people more at risk for heat stroke.

Symptoms of heat stroke

One person may experience heat stroke differently than another. In addition, because it develops so rapidly, heat stroke can be hard to identify before a person is in serious danger. But Johns Hopkins Medicine notes that some of the more common heat stroke symptoms include: headache; dizziness; disorientation, agitation, or confusion; sluggishness or fatigue; seizure; hot, dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty; high body temperature; loss of consciousness; rapid heartbeat; and hallucinations.

Can heat stroke be prevented?

The simplest way to prevent heat stroke is to avoid spending time outdoors in the sun on hot days. If you must go outdoors, do so when temperatures are mild and the sun is low, such as in the early morning or evening. 

In addition to being wise about when you spend time in the sun, you can do the following to prevent heat stroke.

• Drink plenty of fluids, such as water and sports drinks that can help your body maintain its electrolyte balance, when spending time outdoors. In addition, avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee, soda and tea as well as alcohol.

• Wear lightweight, tightly woven and loose-fitting clothing in light colors.

• Always wear a hat and sunglasses when going outdoors, and use an umbrella on especially hot days.

• Take frequent drinks during outdoor activities and mist yourself with a spray bottle to reduce the likelihood of becoming overheated.

Heat stroke is a serious threat on hot summer days. Because heat stroke can escalate rapidly, people must be especially cautious and mindful of their bodies when spending time outdoors in the summer.  

Pixabay photo

By Carolyn Sackstein

It is the season of ice cream.

This week, people visiting downtown Port Jefferson were asked to give their thoughts on the best and worst ice cream flavors and to share their fondest memories associated with this cold, delicious treat.

Brianna Goncalves, Shirley

She likes chocolate peanut butter cup and dislikes mint chocolate chip. When asked about a favorite memory she said, “I get ice cream so much, I really don’t know.” 


Joseph Papalia, Florida 

He had just finished a cherry ice from Ralph’s when he was approached about his favorite ice cream flavors. The former Nesconset resident said his favorite ice cream “without a doubt is Häagen-Dazs’ Dulce de Leche.” He went on to state that his least favorite was “chocolate — I don’t like strawberry either.” He said his favorite memory is “right here, Port Jefferson.”


Caroline Santonocito, Ridge

Santonocito was asked what her favorite flavor was, she said, “This one, vanilla, from this particular ice cream place [Port Jefferson Ice Cream Café].” She added, “There really is no least favorite ice cream for me.” 


Toni Ross, Middle Island 

Ross currently likes tiramisu best, but doesn’t like ice cream containing nuts. Her fondest memory associated with ice cream is of “sitting with my husband and licking my ice cream in Port Jeff waiting for the ferry.”


Chris Devault, Rocky Point

He fondly remembers having ice cream while fishing on Lake Michigan. He said he most enjoys coffee-flavored ice cream as well as cookies and cream. When asked what was his least favorite flavor, Devault responded, “One that’s not served.”


Sydny Starling (left) and Michael Carneiro (right)

Sydny Starling, Tupelo, Mississippi 

Sydny was with her Shetland sheepdog when she was approached for an interview. The visitor favors cookies and cream and dislikes mint chocolate chip. She has no particular memories associated with ice cream. 

Michael Carneiro, Mount Sinai 

His favorite flavor is chocolate chip cookie dough and his least favorite flavor is mint chocolate chip. He has memories of vacationing and being “a preteen and me, my dad and my brother were getting ice cream. And, you know, sometimes it’s messy. And all of a sudden, I look to the left and my brother goes, ‘Michael you’ve got ice cream on the back of your head.’ So, we were all cracking up, dying laughing, because I, of course, am the person who would somehow get ice cream on the back of his head.”

Pexels photo

By Leah S. Dunaief

Leah Dunaief

Ah! It’s summer. 

Yes, there are miserable things happening that we are accosted with in the daily news briefs: congressional hearings, COVID numbers, climate change, warfare, inflation, gasoline price spikes, and so forth. But there is something magical about summer. Maybe it’s a carryover from our school days, when classes and homework ended and we could think about a trip to the beach or lounging in bed in the mornings, that make us feel the specialness of the season.

Come with me, then, as we do some time travel to my elementary school years, and I tell you what summers were like for me.

From first to fifth grades, my mother would visit my teachers in mid-May and get their lesson plans for the rest of the semester and the beginning of the next. She would then take me out of school, and I would not return until mid-September. We would travel to some rustic shack in the Catskill Mountains, a different one each year, where we would spend sixteen weeks in “the fresh air.”

My parents, you see, did not appreciate urban living in the summer, when I recall it used to get hotter than now. Air conditioning only existed in movie theaters, ice cream could only be purchased in bulk from drug stores with freezers, and to get a breeze, one would have to drive really fast along Manhattan’s East Side Highway with all the windows open—that is if one were lucky enough to get a ride in a car. 

My dad grew up in the mountains, my mom in Corona, Queens, which she said was so countrified that there were cows on the road when she walked to public school. They keenly felt the inevitable pollution in the summer air and planned the escape for us children and my mom.

It was lonely for me, fresh air not withstanding I would read a lot. Generally, there would be a farm or two within walking distance, and only occasionally was there a child to play with, only my sister, who was two years younger and had Down Syndrome. But my dad and sometimes my much older brother would come up and stay with us on the weekends, and then the pace of life would pick up.

My dad and I would traipse across meadows and climb hills, for the exercise and just for the fun. Sometimes we would see cows grazing, and they would look at us lazily as we went by. My dad always reminded me to stay alert for the presence of a bull and also to watch out for any snakes that might be sunning themselves at the base of the low stone walls that separated the meadows. Should we see a bull in the distance, we should look to climb a nearby tree.

Often we would find wild blueberry bushes, and we carried containers to bring some back to the rest of the family. We picked the berries in the classical way: one for the pot, two for the mouth, one for the pot, two for the mouth. As we moved around each bush, I enjoyed the warm sun on my back and the smell of wheat and grass carried by the soft breezes that caressed us on their way past. 

When it was time to return, I would wait for his suggestion that I lead the way, and it always came. My dad hoped I would develop a good sense of direction, especially when the terrain looked the same all around us. He would show me nature’s clues, like moss growing on the north side of tree trunks, as a help to finding my way.

One time I remember getting up early enough to watch the sun rise from the top of the nearby hill. I had never seen the sun rise before then, but the real treat was just being with my dad.

Photo from Unsplash

By Bob Lipinski

Bob Lipinski

Summer is upon us in full force. The surf and sun beckon while lazy days lounging poolside or swinging in a hammock entice us away from daily chores. Seeking relief from those hot summer days can indeed be a tedious, tiresome task. Chilled wines not only add enjoyment and lift to your step but are refreshing as well.

Now, while grilling steaks or rings of sausage, I’m looking for plenty of water or beer to quench my thirst. Although there’s nothing like a chilled glass of wine, it’s best when it’s dry with little or no oak. The rule of “drinking red wine at room temperature” may work inside a cave, but not when it’s 90-plus degrees outside and around 500 degrees next to my grill. That sure isn’t room temperature to me! At those times I sometimes quench my thirst with red wine served over ice with chilled seltzer. Sacrilegious, heresy you say!

Now, forget Bordeaux, California Cabernet Sauvignon, and Italian Barolo… they’re best for cooler outdoor weather. Young, fresh, light-bodied red wines (see below) taste better when chilled, no matter whether it’s summer or winter. So, take a large glass and fill with ice, then fill three-quarters with one of those fruity reds, add seltzer, and an optional twist of lemon or lime.

Here are some of my hot weather favorites:

2018 Château de la Maltroye “Chassagne-Montrachet,” Burgundy, France. Straw yellow with a fruity bouquet and flavor of citrus, apples, pineapple, and smoky oak. Dry and clean tasting with a minerally finish. Pair with crab cakes dusted with some Old Bay.

2020 Ron Rubin “Pam’s Unoaked” Chardonnay, California. It’s a screwcap with a handwritten label. Aroma and flavor of coconut, pears, and apples. Easy to drink with just a hint of sweetness. Served well chilled with roasted chicken stuffed with plenty of fresh herbs.

2018 Ron Rubin Pinot Noir “Russian River Valley,” Sonoma, California. Cherry colored with flavors of cranberries, spices, vanilla, and plums. Good finish and long aftertaste. A dish of lasagna with sun-dried tomatoes would pair well.

2019 Melini “Chianti” Borghi d’Elsa, Tuscany, Italy. Dry and full-flavored with an elegant taste of blackberries, hazelnuts, plums, and licorice. Grilled spicy sausage with bitter greens works for me.

Other recommended wines are (white) Albariño, Arneis, Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Moschofilero, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Torrontés, Vermentino, and Viognier. (Reds) Bardolino, Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône, Shiraz, and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.

Just remember … don’t overchill the wine or it will become “numb” in taste. Keep an ice-bucket filled with ice and water for a quick chill.

Bob Lipinski is the author of 10 books, including “101: Everything You Need To Know About Whiskey” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple” (available on Amazon.com). He consults and conducts training seminars on Wine, Spirits, and Food and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at www.boblipinski.com OR [email protected].

Oh-So-Berry Cobbler

A Cobbler Full of Summer Flavors

(Culinary.net) This summer, get a little wild in the kitchen and make something different. It’s alright to mix up the seasonal menu now and again by creating dishes out of the ordinary as a change up from the usual warm-weather favorites.

It’s true for many fruits that the summer months are their ideal season. However, eating fruit plain can be boring and bland on a hot day.

This summer, when heading to an event like a family reunion, picnic or just a day at home, try making this Oh-So-Berry Cobbler.

It’s served warm and is a perfect sweet treat when berries are at their freshest. Full of summer goodness, it’s a treat for everyone to enjoy with strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and a splash of lemon juice served with ice cream. 

Next time you’re thinking about grabbing a fruit tray from the supermarket for an upcoming gathering, think again. This cobbler is the perfect addition to any party menu or special occasion.

Find more summer recipes at Culinary.net.

Oh-So-Berry Cobbler

YIELD: Servings: 8


2 cups strawberries, sliced

2 cups blackberries

2 cups blueberries

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

nonstick cooking spray

ice cream


Heat oven to 350 F.

In large bowl, mix strawberries, blackberries and blueberries then add lemon juice and cornstarch; mix to combine. Refrigerate 20 minutes.

In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In bowl of stand mixer, beat butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract on medium speed until blended. Gradually add flour mixture until crumbles form.

Spray 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Pour berries into bottom of dish. Top berries with crumbles.

Bake 30-40 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Serve with ice cream.

See video here:

Image from BNL

Every year, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory opens its gates to thousands of community members for open house events called Summer Sundays. Visitors get to meet the Lab’s scientists and tour a different world-class science facility each week, including the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), and the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)—all DOE Office of Science User Facilities.

Following the success of Brookhaven’s virtual Summer Sundays program in 2020 and to continue limiting the spread of COVID-19, the Lab is bringing back its online Summer Sunday program for 2021. Over three Sundays this summer, Brookhaven will host a series of live, virtual events for people of all ages. Each event will feature a guided tour of a Brookhaven Lab facility and live Q&A sessions with a panel of scientists.

Brookhaven Lab plans to return to an in-person public tour format for Summer Sundays 2022, as conditions permit.



Schedule of events

NSLS-II: Sunday, July 25 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Tune in to get an up-close look at some of the “beamlines” where scientists use ultrabright x-ray light to see the atomic structure of batteries, proteins, and more. Viewers will have the opportunity to pose questions to NSLS-II scientists about each beamline on the tour and all of the research conducted at NSLS-II. Watch on TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

RHIC: Sunday, August 1 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Join Brookhaven scientists as they explore the physics of particle colliders, including RHIC and the upcoming Electron-Ion Collider (EIC). Get a behind-the-scenes look at RHIC’s operations, then scientists for a Q&A session where they’ll take viewers’ questions about RHIC and the EIC. Watch on TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

CFN: Sunday, August 8 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Investigate our world at the nanoscale with CFN, where scientists will show viewers the sophisticated microscopes and research tools they use to observe ultrasmall science. Viewers will have the opportunity to pose questions to CFN scientists about each scientific instrument on the tour and all of the research conducted at CFN. Watch on TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

More details about these events will be announced soon. For the most up-to-date information, follow Brookhaven Lab on Facebook or visit the Summer Sundays website.

How to watch and ask questions

Each of the Lab’s live Summer Sundays events will be streamed to TwitterFacebook, and YouTube. At the time of the event, the live stream will be pinned to the top of Brookhaven’s profile on each platform. You do not need to have a Twitter, Facebook, or Google account to watch the stream.

Viewers are encouraged to submit their questions for the Q&A segment in advance through the Lab’s social media accounts or by sending an email to [email protected]. Live questions will also be accepted during the Q&A through the chat functions on all streaming platforms mentioned above.

Brookhaven National Laboratory is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science.

Follow @BrookhavenLab on Twitter or find us on Facebook.

The Perfect Summertime Pie

(Culinary.net) Summer is the time to relax, refresh and indulge in sweet and heavenly treats. While you’re lounging poolside and watching the kids play, enjoy a cool, creamy and absolutely divine dessert that’s perfect on a hot day.

This luscious Coconut Key Lime Cream Pie has a smooth texture with toasted shredded coconut on top. It’s sweet, but not too sweet, and will leave your taste buds wanting more as soon as you take your first bite.

Fresh out of the refrigerator, it’s ideal for everyone to share on those days when it’s just too warm outside to not have a chilled snack.

Also topped with lime zest and maraschino cherries, visually this pie is a winner with fun pops of color that will leave your mouth watering.

It’s the perfect pie to enjoy whether you’re outside enjoying some sunshine or inside, taking a break from the summer fun. After being chilled, all of the flavors combine to leave you with a delicious, one of a kind treat.

Find more summer recipes at Culinary.net.

If you made this recipe at home, use #MyCulinaryConnection on your favorite social network to share your work.

Coconut Key Lime Cream Pie

YIELD: Servings: 6-8


1 package (11 ounces) vanilla wafers

1/3 cup butter, melted

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup Key lime juice, divided

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon coconut extract

1 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup toasted shredded coconut

lime zest

maraschino cherries


In blender, pulse vanilla wafers into crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse until combined. Press crumbs into bottom and up sides of greased 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

In large bowl, beat whipping cream until it thickens. Add confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon lime juice; beat until stiff peaks form. Remove 1 cup; set aside.

In separate large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sweetened condensed milk and coconut extract; beat until blended. Add remaining lime juice and shredded coconut; stir until combined. Add reserved whipped cream. Stir until combined. Pour into crust.

Refrigerate 4 hours.

Before serving, garnish with toasted coconut, lime zest and maraschino cherries.

See video here:

*This recipe originally appeared in TBR News Media’s Prime Times supplement on July 15, 2021.

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Pixabay photo

Enjoy Summer Fun by Protecting Your Skin

Layla Barrera, DO

Whether it’s trips to Long Island’s beautiful beaches or gatherings with family and friends at a backyard pool, area residents will be spending more time outside soaking up the sun’s rays.

While the sun feels great on your skin, it can cause irreversible damage. The good news is with a few simple steps you can safely enjoy the sun. Catholic Health’s Ambulatory Care at Bay Shore Primary Care Physician Layla Barrera, DO, shared several tips to help you avoid skin damage.

Q: How do I protect myself and still be in the sun?

A: To avoid painful burns, you should wear clothing such as long-sleeve shirts and long pants. Choose items that are thinner and lighter in weight. A hat with a wide brim will protect your face. Don’t forget your eyes. Use sunglasses. It’s also important to use sunscreen on any skin that remains exposed. 

Q: Which sunscreen is the most effective?

A: Sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection with an SPF of greater than 30 is most effective. It’s also best to use cream sunscreens and avoid the aerosols because they may not cover an entire area evenly. 

Q: What extra precautions are needed when spending time at the beach or pool?

A: Wear water-resistant sunscreen. If that’s not an option, reapply sunscreen every two hours to make sure swimming or perspiration hasn’t diminished its effectiveness.

Q: For those who spend extensive time outdoors, how often should they check their skin for moles or damage?

A: While there are no specific guidelines, for those with a family history of skin cancer, an annual screening is recommended. Basal cell skin cancers are the most common type of skin cancer. It starts in the top layer of the skin and is often related to sun exposure. If not removed completely, basal cell carcinoma can recur in the same place on the skin. People who have had basal cell skin cancers are also more likely to get new ones in other places.

Q: What signs should we look for in moles?

A: We use the ‘ABCDE’ method when it comes to examining moles. 

  • A – Asymmetry: One half does not match the other.
  • B – Border irregularity: Melanoma lesions usually have irregular borders that are difficult to define.
  • C – Color: A variety of colors such as black, brown and tan.
  • D – Diameter: Grows larger than the size of a pencil eraser (about ¼ of an inch).
  • E – Evolving: This has become the most important factor to consider when it comes to diagnosing melanoma. If a mole is changing, it’s concerning.

Q: How does a primary care physician help patients identify unusual moles or other skin defects?

A: A primary care physician will look for any abnormalities as part of a physical examination. If they identify something abnormal, they will refer the patient to a dermatologist for further examination. They will also discuss preventive measures to protect the skin.

About Catholic Health

Catholic Health is an integrated system encompassing some of the region’s finest health and human services agencies. The health system has nearly 17,400 employees, 6 acute care hospitals, 3 nursing homes, a home nursing service, hospice and a network of physician practices.

Fusilli with Basil Pesto and Confetti Veggies. METRO photo

By Barbara Beltrami

Summer pastas take advantage of the season’s bounty and feature veggies and herbs and other warm weather flavors that go hand in hand with the outdoors where the livin’ is easy.  They’re light, they’re colorful and they’re savory. And like the livin’, they’re easy to put together. My favorite is a pasta with lemon and herbs. Of course, there’s pasta with pesto which is wonderful on its own and even more wonderful with the addition of finely diced summer veggies. And if spring and summer take you fishing, boating or beaching and you get a hankering for seafood, there’s pasta with crabmeat and peas.

Farfalle with Lemon and Herbs

YIELD: Makes 4 to 6 servings


1 pound farfalle pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 garlic clove, bruised

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley leaves

1/4 cup snipped fresh garlic chives

1 tablespoon (T) fresh lemon thyme leaves

1 T chopped fresh lemon verbena leaves

1 T chopped fresh lemon balm leaves

1 T finely grated lemon zest

2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

1/2 to 2/3 cup pasta water


Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large deep skillet heat olive oil and butter over medium heat; add garlic clove and cook one or two minutes until it releases its aroma; remove and discard. Add basil, parsley, chives, thyme, verbena, lemon balm, zest, and juice, salt and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat. When pasta is just al dente, drain and add to skillet with the half to two-thirds cup pasta water; over medium-low heat, toss to  coat thoroughly. Serve hot or warm with fresh sliced tomatoes and mozzarella.

Fusilli with Basil Pesto and Confetti Veggies

YIELD: Makes 4 to 6 servings


1 pound fusilli

8 to 10 large sprigs of basil, leaves removed

1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano cheese

1/2 cup pignoli nuts

1 large garlic clove

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup or more pasta water, if needed

1 small zucchini, cut into half-inch dice

1 medium potato, peeled and cut into half-inch dice

1 medium tomato, seeds removed, cut into half-inch dice


Cook fusilli according to package directions. Meanwhile place basil, cheese, nuts, garlic, 3/4 cup of the oil, salt and pepper in bowl of electric food processor. Puree mixture, scraping bowl often, until it is smooth and turns a light green color; if it seems too thick, add pasta water a tablespoonful at a time until right consistency is achieved; set aside. In large skillet heat remaining oil over medium-high heat; add zucchini, potato and tomato and saute, stirring frequently until tender, about 5 minutes. In large pasta bowl, toss pesto and pasta together, sprinkle with sautéed veggies and serve hot, warm or at room temperature with a crusty bread.

Capellini with Crabmeat and Peas

YIELD: Makes 4 to 6 servings


1 pound capellini (very thin spaghetti)

1 pound fresh or frozen shelled peas

8 ounces unsalted butter

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves

1/4 cup fresh snipped chives

1/3 cup freshly grated parmigiano cheese

Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over


Cook pasta according to package directions but 3 minutes before end of cooking time add peas to pasta water and continue to cook until it is al dente. Meanwhile, in a very large skillet over moderate heat, melt butter; add herbs. Add pasta and peas, grated cheese, half a cup (more if needed) of pasta water, salt and pepper to skillet. Tossing constantly, continue cooking the mixture over low heat until pasta is coated with a light creamy sauce, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add crabmeat and cook over medium-low heat, just enough to heat through, about a minute or two. Serve hot or warm with an arugula salad and crisp dry white wine.

METRO photo

With the Memorial Day weekend behind us, it’s time to enjoy outdoor get-togethers such as barbecues and lazy days on the beach. Unfortunately, this time of year also means more drivers under the influence on our roads and more inexperienced ones, too. 

When attending a party, it’s pretty simple. If you plan on drinking alcohol or ingesting other substances that can impair your senses, make sure you have a plan. There is no excuse for driving under the influence. Once upon a time, someone who planned on drinking needed to have a designated driver, plan to sleep over at the place where they were partying or call a taxi. Sometimes many partiers found themselves with a designated person who decided they would have a little fun, too. Or, with no room to sleep at the house where the party was held or a taxi that never showed up, they then got behind the wheel of a car and took off. Nowadays, with phone apps to order car services such as Uber or Lyft, there’s no excuse for driving under the influence of any substance.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, 10,142 people lost their lives due to drunk-driving crashes in the U.S. That’s 10,142 lives that were lost unnecessarily. But there is even more to watch out for on the road during those hot months besides drunk drivers. 

Memorial Day to Labor Day has become known as the “100 deadliest days” of the year as the teen driver death rate increases. According to AAA, from the unofficial start of summer to its unofficial end, there are “more fatal crashes per day, on average, involving teen drivers compared to the rest of the year.”

A study by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found more than 7,000 teens died in such crashes from 2010-19 in the U.S. In New York state, during the same period, 473 teen drivers died in car crashes. Risk factors include teens lack of driving skills and experiences behind the wheel and the unstructured time that summer brings with kids out of school and not having as many activities such as sports and clubs. There are also other risk factors such as texting while driving, running red lights, driving aggressively and not wearing a seat belt.

What can one do when they’re traveling the roads besides watching out for drivers who are weaving in or out or running red lights? The best thing is to set an example of good driving habits on the road, especially when young people are in the passenger seats, which means cinching that seat belt, no texting or talking on the phone, no eating or drinking while steering.

And to play a part in keeping impaired drivers off the road, of course, when you’re hosting a party, make arrangements for your guests who will be indulging themselves.

The summertime should be time for fun, not for tears. Let’s keep the roads in our community safe, not only for the next few months but all year long. It just takes making a few wise decisions.