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Whether it’s eating delicious meals, attending various events or opening gifts, the holidays are a time to celebrate with friends and family. Unfortunately, the season is also full of potential dangers that can lead to injury and even death. In order to avoid suffering an injury, which can put a damper on your holiday spirit, you must be aware of the potential hazards associated with winter.

The most common dangers during the holiday season include:

  • Car crashes – The holidays are also associated with consuming alcohol, which is why drunk driving accidents increase between the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Many people also take road trips during this time of year, resulting in congested roads, distracted driving from constantly checking a cellphone or navigational device, and fatigued driving from being on the road for hours on end. Furthermore, if you’re traveling somewhere with inclement weather, slick and slippery roads and limited visibility can make driving dangerous. So whenever you decide to drive this winter, keep these potential hazards in mind to anticipate the unexpected. Drive slowly, keep your eyes on the road, and always focus on operating the vehicle.
  • Slip and fall accidents – Slips, trips, and falls commonly occur during the holidays. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports nearly 6,000 fall injuries each season result from setting up holiday decorations on the roof, often from ladders. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation (ESF), approximately 4,000 injuries are caused by tripping over extension cords. If you plan on decorating your house this year, either hire professional help or work with a few friends or family members to ensure everything is done safely. Always be aware of where you’re stepping.
  • Fires – From Christmas trees to cooking equipment, there are many fire risks which can turn a festive gathering into an utter disaster. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Decorations caused 800 home fires and Christmas trees—mainly due to faulty lights and wiring—were responsible for 170 home fires per year between 2012 and 2016. Cooking equipment and candles are also another main causes of home fires. When purchasing a Christmas tree, make sure it is fresh and water it constantly to prevent dehydration, which makes it more vulnerable to fires. Never leave cooking or candles unattended, which is the main reason how fires from these items begin.
  • Food poisoning – Undercooked and reheated food are the main causes of food poisoning during the holidays. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says thawing a turkey in an uncontrolled environment can cause sickness. In addition, holiday plants such as mistletoe and holly berries should not be consumed because they are poisonous to both humans and pets. Ensure that food is cooked thoroughly before eating.

If you suffered an injury during the holidays as a result of negligence, request a free consultation with our Miami personal injury attorney at Mitchell & West LLC today.

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