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‘Tis the season. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s are just around the corner, and with the arrival of the holiday season, you may be looking forward to more family time, relaxation, road trips, and holiday food.

While the holidays are a festive and fun time, they can also be a dangerous time as many negligence-based accidents occur during the holiday season. Below, we will discuss the seven most common holiday-related accidents and injuries.

1. Slip & Fall Accidents

Thousands of slip-and-fall accidents occur during the holiday season because of snow and ice or decorating accidents. Decorators can suffer serious injuries (i.e. broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, head/spinal trauma, lacerations, etc.) as they fall from:

  • Ladders
  • Roofs
  • Furniture
  • Stairs
  • Porches
  • Other great heights

For the safety of you and others, be sure that you are mindful of snow and ice while you decorate and have a spotter present when anyone climbs a ladder or great height. Property owners should also warn guests of areas with tripping hazards and should address snow and ice patches on their property. It is also important to note that slip and fall accidents also occur during the holidays because of:

  • Extension cords
  • Slipped food and drinks
  • Draping or droopy decorations

2. Motor Vehicle Accidents

During the holidays, many people are traveling to see their friends and family, and a number of factors can lead to a car, motorcycle, or truck accident, including:

  • Drowsiness
  • Holiday-related depression
  • Distractions (i.e. texting/driving, eating, messing with radio/Bluetooth, etc.)
  • Drug and/or alcohol use
  • Inexperienced drivers
  • Nighttime and winter driving hazards
  • Dangerous weather conditions

As you drive this holiday season, be sure to conduct a vehicle safety check to ensure your headlights, blinkers, and other vehicle safety features are functioning. To ensure your safety on the road, you should also:

  • Limit or avoid drinking at holiday parties
  • Assign designated drivers at holiday functions
  • Engage in defensive driving while driving/riding
  • Obey the speed limit, especially during the nighttime and bad weather
  • Leave space between you and other vehicles
  • Keep an emergency car kit stocked and in your vehicle

3. Holiday Fires

Unfortunately, many fires often occur because of incidents involving Christmas tree lights, candles in kinaras or Menorah, holiday decorations with electricity, kitchen fires, open flames, and fireworks. For your safety, you should:

  • Be mindful of how close children or pets are to flames
  • Remove flammable items from areas with heat sources and heaters
  • Avoid using damaged lights or extension cords
  • Be careful of how close flammable items and people are to open flames, the fireplace, and other heat sources
  • Burn candles on stable, heat-resistant surfaces

4. Electric Shocks

Because of overloaded sockets or faulty decorations/lights, people can suffer thermal burns, nerve or tissue damage, muscle spasms, or even cardiac arrest. Electric shocks can also be caused by older or malfunctioning space heaters and other appliances.

To be safe, you should avoid using older or broken extension cords and electrical decorations, and overloading sockets. You should also unplug decorations and appliances when they are not in use.

5. Negligent Security-Related Accidents

During the holiday season, as people visit their families and/or friends, they often stay at hotels/motels, Airbnb properties, other short-term rental properties, and the homes of those they are visiting. While on these properties, people can suffer injuries in violent crimes because of inadequate security measures on the property.

To avoid suffering injuries in an attack, check the reviews of properties before renting or booking a room and pay special attention to the security measures mentioned. You should also ask family and friends whether they have lighting around their property, a security camera, and/or other safety measures.

6. Toy-Related Accidents

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2021, there were over 152,00 toy-related injuries sustained by children under the age of 15 and two deaths. Reportedly the two deaths involved choking and suffocating on small parts of a toy and a soft part of a toy (while sleeping in an unsafe environment). Toy-related injuries can include:

  • Lacerations
  • Contusions
  • Abrasions
  • Head and facial trauma
  • Burns

For the safety of you and your children, the CPSC recommends that you:

  • Read the safety instructions included with toys and products
  • Adhere to the age guidance included on toy packaging
  • Don’t allow children under age three to play with small toys or balls
  • Avoid giving children under the age eight deflated balloons or empty toy packaging
  • Discard plastic wrapping paper, ribbons, and packaging as soon as possible

7. Winter Sports-Related Accidents

Connecticut is known for its fun winter activities, such as:

  • Tubing (down snowy hills/mountains)
  • Ice climbing
  • Combine biking (also known as snow or ski biking)
  • Skiing
  • Ski jumping
  • Hiking
  • UTVing

Tourists and local Connecticuters alike enjoy any number of these winter sports and activities, and while these activities are great fun, they can also be dangerous. To avoid injuries, you should:

  • Be honest about your abilities and limitations
  • Avoid engaging in reckless behavior (and discourage teens from doing the same)
  • Check the equipment you use for signs of wear or issues
  • Listen to tour guides and/or instructors
  • Adhere to safety instructions
  • Be mindful of signs of frostbite or hypothermia

Suffered injuries because of negligence this holiday season? Contact Zayas Law Firm to discuss your legal rights and options by calling (860) 854-9156. We handle a wide variety of personal injury cases, including but not limited to motor vehicle accidents, snow and ice injuries, slips and falls, product liability, and premises liability claims.

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