Holiday Season Safety

Every year, people end up in the hospital from preventable holiday-related accidents. This holiday season, avoid painful personal injuries, expensive hospital bills, and a Christmas or New Year’s spent in the emergency room by making your personal safety a priority. Take a proactive approach to safety and enjoy your holidays free from injury. If an accident does occur, contact our Tampa personal injury lawyers to discuss a potential case.

Holiday Traffic Tips

More people traveling home for the holidays means busier roads and highways. Our Tampa car accident lawyers also know this time of year means a higher chance of car accidents. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your final destination. Do not speed, tailgate, or let the traffic frustrate you. If you are heading somewhere colder than Florida, check the weather at your final destination and prepare accordingly. Driving in the snow, for example, may involve changing your tires or renting a different vehicle. Planning ahead for traffic and weather can help keep you safe.

Congested traffic puts you at risk around the holidays, but it is not the only hazard to look out for while driving. The number of drunk drivers on the road also increases this time of year. In the month of December 2016 alone, 3,067 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents. One-fourth of these deaths (781 people) stemmed from drunk driving crashes. Keep yourself safe from drunk drivers by learning how to spot them, and calling 911 if you suspect a drunk driver. Never drive drunk. Always designate a sober driver after holiday parties.

Decorate Without Disaster

Many ER visits during the holidays arise from dangerous holiday decorations or decorating habits. Unsafe ladders, walking on the roof, and cords in walkways, for example, are all serious fall hazards. When decorating for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, or New Year’s, pay attention to safety. Use these tips:

  • Choose an artificial tree instead of a real one for fire safety.
  • Keep a real tree properly watered to avoid it drying out.
  • Do not let children around lights or small decorations.
  • Do not decorate with real candles or open flames.
  • Keep decorations away from fireplaces and radiators.
  • Check your cords for damage, cracks, or broken sockets.
  • Do not overload your electrical circuits.
  • Clear paths of decorations, toys, wrapping paper and other slip/trip hazards.
  • Use a ladder or step-stool, not furniture, to hang lights or ornaments.

Fire hazards are some of the most common reasons holiday decorating ends in disaster. Help prevent house fires by using the right lights for outdoors vs. indoors, double-checking the condition of your cords, keeping décor away from ovens and other heat sources, and practicing Christmas tree safety.

Check Your (Recall) List Twice

Buying safe products for your loved ones this holiday season may take checking the national recall list before you make your purchase. Almost daily, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) adds new items to the list that contain dangerous defects or design flaws that could potentially injure consumers. This list includes ATVs, children’s toys, clothing, infant carriers, home décor, tools and appliances, space heaters, nightlights, and dozens of other products. Browse the list or search for a specific item to check for safety recalls.

It is especially important to keep up with recalls on children’s toys around the holidays. It can be easy to purchase a toy for a child without realizing that it contains a choking, drowning, suffocation, electric shock, or other serious hazard for kids due to a manufacturing or marketing defect. Before you shop for the children in your family, research the toys you wish to purchase to ensure their safety.

If you do end up experiencing an unfortunate personal injury accident this holiday season, contact a Tampa attorney for more information about your rights and legal options. You may be eligible for compensation from the at-fault party.