Whether it’s spending time with family, eating delicious meals or giving and opening presents, the holidays bring excitement and joy every single year. However, the season also comes with an increase of accidents and injuries. If you are aware of the most common holiday accidents, it will give you and your loved ones the opportunity to avoid suffering a serious injury during the most wonderful time of the year.
Here are the most common accidents during the holiday season:
- Car accidents – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that the rate of car accidents increase around the holidays, specifically from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Contributing factors to the rise of collisions include inclement weather which makes the roads dangerous, drunk drivers leaving festive gatherings, fatigued drivers embarking on long road trips, and even nighttime driving because it is difficult to see in the dark.
- Fires – The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) reports that holiday fires cause 400 deaths, 1,600 injuries, and $990 million worth of damages in the United States every year. Cooking is considered one of the top causes of holiday fires, often by leaving unattended food that’s still cooking. Many fires are also caused by Christmas trees when they become dehydrated, making them prone to ignite when sparked by or close to a heating source, such as Christmas lights, candles, the fireplace, and even the furnace. Many people use candles during holiday celebrations, but when they leave the home or ignore an unattended burning candle, disaster can strike.
- Slip and falls – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fall-related injuries result in 5,800 people treated in emergency departments every year during this time of year. The main culprits include setting up holiday decorations, making repairs before inclement weather strikes, or cleaning out the rain gutters. More than 50 percent of these injuries involved falling from a ladder or roof. Furthermore, 4,000 people suffer injuries by tripping over extension cords every year. Lastly, snow and rain can create slick and slippery surfaces, which can cause people to slip.
- Food poisoning – While the holidays are often celebrated with delicious meals, many people suffer food poisoning due to undercooked food, reheated meals, or even eating salad (i.e. the recent outbreak of E. coli in romaine lettuce). Additionally, mistletoe, holly berries, and several breeds of Christmas tree can be poisonous if ingested by adults, children, and even pets.
- Winter sports accidents – Whether it’s skiing or snowboarding, winter sports are a popular activity during the cold months. Unfortunately, the high speeds of such activities—as well as poor equipment and incorrect training—can result in devastating accidents that often result in broken bones or worse.
Our Nassau County personal injury attorney at Foley Griffin, LLP has been handling holiday accidents since 1997. If you have been injured during the holiday by a negligent party in New York, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.