Spencer Law Group
Most Common Holiday Accidents
It is officially the Holiday season! With the decorations, food, gifts, and travel, the season can be stressful. With the increase of activity comes the chances of accidents caused by the very things that bring joy to this time of year. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission tracked emergency room visits from 2011 to 2015 at 100 hospitals and found there were more than 1,700 documented Christmas and holiday-related injuries. Often these injuries are caused by negligence of others. Read on to find out about the most common Christmas and holiday accidents and injuries.
Lacerations are a deep cut and most often occur during this time of year from broken ornaments or from opening gifts with knives or scissors. Many items like toys or electronics contain sharp, plastic packaging that is difficult to open. The phenomena even has a name; wrap rage and causes an estimated 6,000 injuries per year.
Artificial trees and LED lights that are much cooler than incandescent lights, have helped in holiday safety. Still, there are over 1,000 injuries and 400 deaths each year from holiday-related fires. Each year, fires during the holiday season result in over $900 million in damages. The most common culprit in Christmas-related fires is candles. If you must have candles as a part of your festive decor, make sure they are in holders and blow them out before leaving the room or your home.
Fires are also caused by faulty wiring in string lights and other decorations. To keep your home safe from fires, place your tree away from heat sources and check your light chords for frays and rips. Fires can also lead to smoke inhalation and burns.
Thanks to the weather, slip and fall accidents increase in winter. The holiday season is also a time where there are increased slip and fall incidents. Stairs, tripping while carrying decorations, or falling due poorly lit areas are all common causes of falls during the holiday season.
During the holiday season, the rate of drunk driving accidents spikes. Holiday parties call for more alcoholic beverages, and sadly an increase of drunk drivers on the road. A report from the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) shows that 40% of deaths caused by traffic accidents during the holiday season involve drunk drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 2,597 died in traffic accidents in December 2010. Another report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that two of the deadliest days for driving are December 23 and January 1.
The holidays are meant to be fun and a time to spend with friends and family. However, being involved in an accident or injury during this time of year is likely. If you have been hurt in an accident, contact us here.