Tis' the season for festive cheer, celebration, and fun! However, the darker side of Christmas and the entire holiday season isn't often something we like to think about. Many of us may not realize the holidays can be dangerous when it comes to personal injury and auto accidents. That’s why we’ve put together this rundown of common holiday injuries and accidents, along with some helpful tips to maintain safety.
If you do fall victim to an unexpected car accident or injury over the holidays, remember that it's important to work with a reputable legal team like ours at Bart Durham Injury Law to get the support and compensation you deserve.
Dangers of Alcohol
First and foremost, some of the most common holiday injuries are related to alcohol use. It may seem obvious—after all, most of us indulge in a few festive drinks over the holidays. However, it's essential to remember that even small amounts of alcohol can significantly increase your risk for certain accidents and injuries.
Besides the obvious dangers of more severe intoxication and alcohol poisoning, other dangers lurk on the slick and sometimes snowy roads.
Even if you remain sober, be aware that others may not be. The holiday season is notorious for road accidents caused by drunk drivers. In fact, the NIAA and CDC report that roughly 25,000 injuries happen each year due to alcohol-related crashes during Christmas and the holiday season.
And while drunk drivers are more likely to survive these accidents or escape unharmed, this doesn't mean you aren't at risk. Always wear your seat belt and drive cautiously, especially in inclement weather.
In a similar vein, drunk drivers are not the only ones who can be dangerous this time of year. Pedestrians, especially those walking home from holiday parties or late-night Christmas or New Year celebrations, may also pose a risk to themselves and others on the road. It gets dark earlier and more quickly in winter, visibility is reduced, and the streets are often slippery—this can be a deadly combination.
It is important to take extra precautions when walking at night. Walking with a group of friends or family is one way to stay safe, and wearing reflective clothing and carrying a flashlight is another. Avoid walking while intoxicated or under the influence of other substances. It may seem safer than driving but often isn't.
Slip and Falls
Another common Christmas injury is the 'slip and fall'. Underneath that beautiful snow lies a potentially hazardous layer of ice and slush. Combined, these can cause a serious fall that results in bruised bones or broken limbs. The elderly are especially at risk since a single fall can have a much more significant impact when compared to younger people.
It is important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions in slippery areas. For example, staircases, sidewalks, and entryways can be particularly dangerous. Wearing shoes with good traction is an easy way to protect yourself from slipping on the ice. Also, using handrails when walking up or down stairs can make a big difference.
The holiday season also means that more of us are decorating, often using electrical outlets. Be aware of potential electric shock hazards, whether you're putting up your Christmas tree or stringing holiday lights outside.
This may seem obvious, but always unplug any cords before handling them for safety reasons. Also, ensure that any electrical decorations and cords you use are in good condition. If they are frayed or malfunctioning, do not use them and get them repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
Chestnuts roasting over an open fire might make a classic Christmas scene, but it can also be a significant fire hazard. Never leave an open flame or any decorations that may cause a fire unattended. Your candles should be in good condition and out of the reach of children.
To help further reduce the risk of fires this holiday season, consider using flameless candles or other safe alternatives. In addition, always keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Finally, keep any heat source away from your Christmas tree, as it is one of the most dangerous decorations.
Kitchens are also prone to fires and other holiday-related accidents. Whether cooking a feast or crafting DIY gifts, take extra safety precautions to prevent kitchen fires and burns. You can avoid many cuts and injuries by being extra careful around sharp objects, knives, and other danger zones.
Contact Bart Durham Injury Law
If you end up suffering an injury this holiday season, seek medical attention immediately and then contact Bart Durham Injury Law as soon as possible. We have decades of experience handling personal injury law in Nashville and surrounding areas. We can help get you the compensation you deserve!