Many Americans look forward to the holiday season as a chance to rest and celebrate with loved ones. Unfortunately, major holiday periods such as Christmas, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July are also associated with a spike in accidents resulting in serious injury and even death. In fact, doctors in New York estimate a 5-10% uptick in emergency room visits over the holiday season.
If you aren’t careful, you can end up spending the holidays in the ER rather than enjoying time with family and friends. Haffner Law’s personal injury attorneys in Studio City list down common holiday injuries and how you can avoid them.
- Road traffic injuries and fatalities
Millions of Americans hit the road to see family and friends during the holidays every year. Unfortunately, the increase in traffic combined with adverse weather conditions in winter creates higher risks for road injuries and fatalities.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, 24% of weather-related traffic collisions each year occur on icy, slushy, or snowy pavement, while 15% take place in sleet or during snowfalls. Before driving in harsh conditions, inspect your battery, and ensure you have enough pressure in your tires.
Drunk-driving crashes are also more prevalent during festive seasons when social drinking is more common. Alcohol can impair a driver’s vision, motor skills, and decision-making abilities. If you’re the designated driver, commit to total sobriety. Even if you only had one or two drinks, you risk getting into an accident, so it’s best to avoid getting behind the wheel.
- Slips and falls while decorating
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that more than 5,800 individuals sustain fall-related injuries from holiday decorating activities. Slips and falls can occur in the following ways:
- Putting up holiday decorations on a roof
- Standing on furniture or a ladder to hang garlands or decorate a Christmas tree
- Tripping over extension cords, ornaments, and other holiday-related items
Instead of stepping on furniture to hang ornaments, use a ladder and ensure it’s always on a level surface. Ask someone to spot you for extra safety. Put lights, wires, and other holiday-related objects out of the way to keep everyone safe from trips, slips, and falling décor.
- Fires and burns
The U.S. Fire Administration reports that each year nearly 156,000 winter holiday fires occur nationwide. These holiday fires result in over 630 fatalities, 2,600 injuries, and $936 million in property damage.
During the holidays, many homes and buildings are decorated with candles, seasonal garlands, and electric lights which can pose various safety hazards. Dried-out fir and pine Christmas trees can catch fire easily, while exposed wiring and faulty cords from pre-lit artificial trees can increase the risk of sparks and fires.
To prevent holiday fires, use nonflammable décor and place live Christmas trees far from your fireplace or furnace. Avoid overloading electrical circuits and using old or damaged electric ornaments.
Recover compensation for your holiday injury
If a holiday accident happens because of another person’s negligence or recklessness, Haffner Law’s seasoned attorneys are here to help you recover damages. We will assist you with filing a personal injury claim and collecting strong evidence. If necessary, we will aggressively represent you in court.
Book a consultation now and learn how we’ll help you get the compensation you deserve.