Autumn Safety Guide 2018

Autumn generally marks the beginning of the holiday season. The holiday season is a time when friends and family gather to celebrate, but they are also a particularly dangerous time when it comes to personal injuries. At Williams Law, P.A., our Tampa injury lawyers know personal injury risks increase during the holiday season. Autumn is the perfect time to prepare for and prevent some of the most common holiday injuries.

Preventing Travel-Related Injuries and Mishaps

Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of injuries during the autumn and holiday seasons. Vehicle owners should address issues with their vehicles before long trips. The holiday season not only means more traffic congestion in Tampa, it also means drivers who are unfamiliar with the area can make driving more dangerous. Plan before every trip to limit the risk of injuries and limit distractions behind the wheel.

If you travel with passengers, have one passenger act as the navigator and handle GPS devices or smartphones for finding the destination. This helps keep the driver free from distractions that could cause accidents. While Florida does not prohibit the use of cellphones behind the wheel, it is much safer for drivers to refrain from cellphone use except in case of an emergency.

Alcohol-Related Injuries Around the Holidays

DUI-related accidents peak in Tampa around the holidays, especially on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Drivers should make alternative transportation plans if they intend to drink alcohol. Arranging a designated driver or hiring a rideshare service like Lyft or Uber are great alternatives. Alcohol can also lead to injuries at home. Operating a stove or grill under the influence of alcohol can be extremely dangerous and lead to catastrophic injuries.

If you attend a holiday party or social function with friends and relatives, do not let anyone drive home under the influence. No matter how much they may protest, an intoxicated person should never drive. Even if they are lucky enough to avoid accidents, DUI checkpoints are more common around the holidays. Police know more people than usual may be driving under the influence. Stopping a friend from driving drunk can not only prevent serious accidents and injuries, but also legal penalties.

Cooking Hazards and Home Safety

In addition to the risks of cooking under the influence, there are many chances for cooking mishaps and injuries to occur at home. Make sure small children stay out of cooking zones or areas with heavy foot traffic to limit the risk of slips, trips, and falls involving hot food.

Make sure all foods are safe to eat. This means washing produce before serving it or cooking with it. It also means making sure cooked meats are at the right temperature to prevent food borne illnesses. If you have guests coming for a meal, account for food allergies and dietary sensitivities when preparing your menu.

Property Liability Risks During Autumn

While Tampa doesn’t generally get snow, autumn is still hurricane season. If you have guests, it is your responsibility to make sure they do not face any unreasonable risks. Should there be any hazard you know about but have not had time to correct, be sure to warn visitors about it before it causes an injury.

If you have a dog that could potentially injure a guest, it may be worth considering boarding during your holiday gatherings or keeping the dog crated during your party. If small children visit your home, use baby-proof locks. Locks should be added on cabinet doors, basement doors, and other areas of your home. It may help prevent injuries or exposure to dangerous household chemicals.

These are just a few tips for staying safer this autumn as the holiday season begins. Proper planning and good judgment can help prevent most holiday injuries. Stay alert to prevent an autumn injury from ruining your holiday season!