The holiday season is a time to take a vacation, relax, and spend quality time with loved ones. However, for many Americans, the holidays are considered the busiest time of the year. As such, it is often the season where people injury themselves the most. To avoid common holiday accidents, we have created a list of the most common forms of injuries and ways to prevent them.
What Holiday Accidents Happen the Most?
Falls while decorating
A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that more than 5,800 individuals are injured in fall-related injuries attributed to holiday decorating or related activities. Men were more likely to sustain injuries than women, with most falls resulting from ladder accidents. Falls from decorating can happen in the following ways:
- Hanging holiday lights/decorations on a roof
- Standing on furniture to decorate a Christmas tree or put up holiday décor
- Tripping or slipping over cords and other holiday-related objects (such as a tree skirt, extension cord, or ornament)
To avoid falls take these precautions:
- Ensure ladders are on a level surface and that the area around the top and bottom are clear
- Do not try to overreach when putting up lights/decorations; extend your ladder or ask for help
- Try to avoid stepping on furniture to hang holiday décor; use a ladder appropriately instead
- Put extension cords, lights, and other holiday items out of the way to avoid trips and falls
- Have a family member or friend spot you when using a ladder
Bad weather car accidents
According to the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Association (FHWA), the vast majority of weather-related car crashes happen on wet pavement and during rainfall. Bad weather leads to chaos, which contributes to emotional or irrational decision-making. If you must drive on wet or snowy roads, it is advisable to pay close attention to your surroundings. Stay about 20 seconds behind other cars in case they stop suddenly and signal well in advance to alert other drivers. Avoid sudden breaking to eliminate skidding on the road and if your car does skid, be sure to turn into the direction of the slide.
Also, since more people are on the road during the holidays, traffic and car accidents are more common. Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, and New Year’s Day are some of the most dangerous times to be on the road. See if you can avoid or limit your time on the road during these holidays.
The lights on Christmas trees as well as candles can start fires and cause injuries, property damage, and in some cases, death. You can prevent Christmas tree fires by finding the right tree. When you shop for a Christmas tree look for a recently cut tree. Signs of this include looking for fresh, green needles and a tree stump that is sticky with resin. Set your tree up away from heat sources like a vent, fireplace, and/or radiator. Be sure to check your Christmas lights for loose connections, frayed wires, and/or broken or cracked sockets. Throw out damaged lights and do not use frayed or old extension cords.
When burning candles, make sure they are out of the way of children and pets. You do not want them to be knocked over. Keep candles away from trees, decorations curtains, furniture, and any other items that could catch on fire. Never leave a candle burning unattended and blow it out before leaving your residence.
Electric currents can cause thermal burns, muscle, nerve, and tissue damage, and in rare cases, cardiac arrest. Be wary of light strands, extension cords, and outlets during the holiday season. Keep an eye out for frayed or damaged wires and tears in the protective coating of cords. Do not overload sockets and unplug holiday decorations when you leave your home.
Holiday travel can take a toll on your back. Picking up heavy luggage at the airport, moving furniture to set up decorations, lugging your family’s gifts from your house to your car can all lead to bank injuries, strains, or worse. To avoid harming your back this holiday season, remember to lift heavy objects with your legs and carry them close to your body. If something is too heavy, consider hiring a professional for help. If you are carrying a bag with a shoulder strap, alternate shoulders to prevent soreness or injury.
Contact Our Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or someone you love is injured this holiday season due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation. At Eliot Reiner, APLC, we care about our clients. With over 30 years of experience and millions of dollars won, our firm is committed to results.
Contact our firm online or give us a call at (916) 778-3228 to learn more about our legal services.