Right around this time of year is when schedules become busier than ever and personal injuries occur. There are holiday parties, family get-togethers, shopping, and so much more. While it’s considered the most wonderful time of the year, it can also be a little more dangerous. Everyone is trying to get everything done, and there are more distractions, which could lead to negligence.
As we end the year with celebrations, it’s important to keep in mind the things that can change it from celebration to nightmare so you can avoid the risk. Here are the most common causes of personal injuries that occur around Christmas.
Personal Injuries Due to Car Accidents
Each year, the National Safety Council estimates the number of fatal collisions that are likely to occur during the Christmas holiday. Last year, the council estimated there would be up to 358 car crash deaths throughout the nation. In Arizona, four fatal collisions were reported throughout the Christmas period, which is December 23 through December 27. Fatal collisions around Christmas peaked in 2014 when seven deaths were reported, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
As neighborhoods become illuminated with the glow of holiday lights, some families may decide to walk through these neighborhoods, which can lead to traffic jams and dangerous conditions for pedestrians. During this time of year, pedestrians must always be mindful when crossing the roads while shopping and while enjoying all the beautiful lights on display.
Although Christmas tree fires do not happen often, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. The National Fire Protection Association revealed that between 2010 and 2014, local fire departments responded to 210 structure fires caused by Christmas trees. These fires led to 16 personal injuries and six deaths. Always keep your tree at least three feet away from heat sources like a fireplace, candles, and radiators. Also, turn your Christmas lights off before leaving your home and going to bed.
Slip and Falls
Grocery stores and retail stores have their busiest season with consumers buying presents. While accidents happen, stores are required to ensure the safety of their customers. Slip and fall personal injuries can also occur on icy and wet sidewalks. Always be mindful of where you’re walking. If you see a dangerous condition at a store, report it to management to ensure no one gets hurt.
Everyone loves the holiday lights, but if you’re not careful, putting them up can lead to serious personal injuries. Falls are all too common when putting up lights around the home. Electric shocks may also occur due to faulty or old wires. Always look through your lights and test them before putting them up. Always have someone hold a ladder when it’s in use and don’t become distracted while putting up your lights.
Burns and Cuts
Nothing says it’s the holidays like baked goods. Whether you’re hosting or attending a party, you’ll probably want to let your cooking and baking skills shine, which means a greater chance of suffering burns and cuts. Distractions and negligence can quickly lead to serious personal injuries that require medical attention.
Around this time of year, the parties are abundant, as is the food. Potlucks at work and holiday parties can sometimes be the source of food poisoning with undercooked foods being the main culprit. If you’re headed out to the local buffet or a nice sit-down, make sure your food is cooked before you eat it. Restaurants have an obligation to serve food that is safe to eat
The holidays are all about spending time with those you love most. Don’t let the danger of personal injuries keep you from the festivities. But be mindful of these real dangers and always put safety first – whether you’re setting up Christmas lights or cooking your favorite dish for a potluck.
Be careful during Christmas so that you can spend time with the ones you love most. If you’re injured this Christmas or any time of the year, please give us a call to schedule a legal consultation.