While the holiday season is generally a time for cheer and laughter, many families, unfortunately, experience the opposite. This is because the number of accidents, injuries, and deaths rises as it gets closer to the year’s end.The National Safety Council estimates that around 340 may end up dying because of accidents on U.S. roads within the Christmas holiday period. Another 384 people may also get killed in collisions around New Year’s Day.
These are concerning numbers, whether during or outside of the holiday season. And road accidents are far from the only dangers during this time. This article will look into the most common accidents and injuries during the holiday season.
Food is a big part of most holiday traditions. When families and loved ones get together, there is bound to be a feast on the table. However, some of the most common accidents and injuries that happen during the holiday season are caused by food.
- Allergies – Whether people are dining out, consuming prepackaged snacks, eating a catered meal, or preparing food for others, allergies are a major concern. However, it can be difficult to keep track of who is allergic to what, so extra care should be taken.On Christmas Day of 2021, a 12-year-old boy died of anaphylactic shock because of nuts in his food. Tragic accidents like this can be avoided with careful attention to preventing allergens in food.
- Choking – Choking can occur when people consume food or drinks too quickly. The likelihood of choking appears to increase during holiday celebrations when people tend to eat too fast, consume large pieces of food, and do not chew properly.Unsupervised children may choke not just on food but also food, toys, and holiday decorations. Presents should be appropriate for the age of the child to avoid choking hazards, and parents or guardians of small children should always be on guard before, during, and after mealtime.
- Others – Food or alcohol poisoning, indigestion, and even hazards during food preparation can cause urgent and painful trips to the emergency room as well.
Many homes and businesses choose to decorate their places with Christmas or fairy lights during the holidays. While these are beautiful and add to the spirit of the season, they can also cause a range of accidents and injuries.
- Electrocution – Fairy lights are sometimes linked together to cover entire buildings. With all that wiring, it can be easy to overlook an area of exposed cable. Upon contact, it can cause electrocution, burns, and even death. The risk worsens when snow or rain is added into the mix.CNET offers a comprehensive list of safety tips regarding Christmas lights.
- Fires – Daisy-chaining lights also increases the risk of starting fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments respond to about 160 home fires that start with Christmas trees annually. These fires also cause 2 deaths and 12 injuries every year.Open flames are also common during the winter season. Whether indoors in fireplaces or outdoors in fire pits, fires should be carefully monitored.
Driving under certain conditions during the holidays also increases the likelihood of accidents and injuries.
- Under the Influence – Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol has always been a leading cause of accidents on American roads. The risk is even greater during the holidays, when people consume more alcohol and other substances.
- Snow – Snow and ice reduce the traction on roads, causing vehicles to slide, sometimes even with snow tires on. It is important to drive extra carefully in snowy conditions, reducing speed and avoiding making sharp turns.
- Speeding – It can be tempting to take advantage of the clear roads when the holiday rush subsides, but it should not be done. The NSC states that more than a quarter of all fatal road accidents are caused by speeding.The icy roads during the holiday season make speeding even more dangerous as well.
While it is important to blow off some steam during the holidays, it can also be dangerous without the proper preparation and a vigilant mindset. Learning about the common accidents during this time can be a practical initial step in preventing these accidents, injuries, and deaths.
If you or a loved one has suffered because of any of the accidents mentioned above, and you believe that another party may be at fault, do not hesitate to speak with one of our attorneys. You can reach us at 1-844-HAFFNER or 213-514-5681. We will be more than happy to help.