The holiday season might also be known as accident season, depending on whom you ask. Although the season brings celebration, family gatherings and presents, it also brings in inordinate number of accidents–on the road, on icy sidewalks and in the home.
New Year’s Eve is particularly deadly, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Board (NHTSB.) They report that there are more than five times as many traffic fatalities on New Year’s Eve than on a typical day. Young people (those under age 25) are particularly at risk. Nearly forty percent of the accidents involving this age group during the last two weeks of December are alcohol related.
However, America’s highways aren’t the only place you’ll find an increase in December accidents. Icy sidewalks cause more than one million falls each winter season, and things like extension cords for the Christmas trees and outdoor lights can cause falls around the home, too. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) more than 6,000 Americans are treated in emergency rooms each year as a result of falls when they were putting up lights and other holiday decorations.
What causes holiday accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, nearly half of holiday traffic accidents involve alcohol. They also cite the increasing number of drivers who are distracted by cell phones and mobile devices, the longer than usual length of holiday journeys (the average is 275 miles) and the more than 11 million Americans with uncorrected vision problems.
Inside the house, extension cords, pets and throw rugs lead the list of hazards. Ladders and using them improperly are the number one cause of falls and injuries while decorating the house.
Preventing holiday accidents
Stopping Americans from drinking and driving is crucial to reducing the number of holiday highway accidents. Everyone heading to a holiday party should know who will be taking them home before they ever take that first drink. In addition, icy road conditions add to the danger of distracted driving. Better to leave that cell phone turned off and the tablet in your purse until you get home.
It’s also important to keep your car in good repair during the winter. Things like bald tires are not just a threat to you and your passengers, but also to the other vehicles with you on the road.
Keeping sidewalks and driveways shoveled and ice-free can help in reducing the number of falls around the house. So can making sure that your holiday decorations don’t pose a falling hazard and that you use proper ladder safety procedures when hanging lights and other decorations, ideally using the buddy system.
What to do if you’ve been in a holiday accident
If you or someone you care about has suffered an injury due to an automobile accident, a fall or other holiday mishap, you may be able to collect from the person responsible for your injuries for your medical expenses, for your time off work and even for your mental anguish. To do this, you need an experienced attorney to represent your interests, a group of lawyers like DPT Law. The settlement the insurance company proposes may sound fair, but you have to remember that they represent the person or company that harmed you. Contact us at 215 546-1433 so we can help you determine the best way to pursue compensation for your injuries. We are licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.