The holiday hustle and bustle are right around the corner. Tragically, with all that excitement and activity, accident fatality rates increase. Even if you plan to stay home during the holidays, you should know ways to reduce your accident risk this holiday season.
Some common reasons for these increases are fire hazards from decorations, choking hazards from new toys that aren’t age-appropriate, and car accidents due to more cars on the road.
Get prepared with resources on how to keep you and your family safe this holiday season. Here, we’ve outlined tips for both traveling and staying home.
Staying Safe While Traveling During the Holidays
Even if you’re only headed across town to a family member’s house to celebrate the holidays, consider taking these safety precautions. Car accidents can happen when traveling during the holidays even just a short distance.
- Complete regular maintenance on your car to prepare for a winter drive. You should also have a winter preparedness kit with you. These kits generally have blankets, deicers, flares, etc. While it’s always dangerous to drive a car that needs maintenance, getting stuck on the side of the road in the winter is especially uncomfortable. And with less daylight, it’s more dangerous to be stranded on the road.
- Never drive under the influence or while drowsy. Drowsy driving can be as bad as driving after drinking alcohol. Don’t try to schedule too many holiday visits close together that leave you exhausted. And never drink and drive when leaving a holiday party. Drink responsibly and hire a taxi or rideshare service if you’ve had too much to drink.
- Plan for added traffic and allow time for it. The more relaxed you feel behind the wheel, the less likely you’ll be to drive aggressively, which can lead to an accident. If you go on a trip knowing that you’ll likely face delays and heavy traffic, you can be prepared for the experience.
- Require all passengers to wear seatbelts and ensure children’s’ car seats are installed properly. Using seatbelts is crucial to protecting you and your passengers if you have the misfortune of being involved in a car accident during your holiday travels. Additionally, it’s a good idea to check children’s car seats before embarking on a trip. Make sure that straps and harnesses don’t need adjustment and check weight and height requirements. Your child might need to graduate to the next style of seat before your next trip.
- Ask a passenger to navigate for you. Driving distracted is a leading cause of car accidents. Don’t be tempted to check other notifications or apps while driving when following the navigation on your phone. Just have someone else do it.
Safety Precautions for the Holidays at Home
Even if you never leave your home this holiday season, you might be at risk of a fatal accident. The holidays bring new decorations and gifts into the home, which can present hazards. Here are some home safety tips as you make your home more festive.
- Check that an artificial tree is fire resistant and never leave Christmas lights plugged in overnight. This can lead to a fire in your home. If you have a live Christmas tree, make sure that the trunk is immersed in at least two inches of water so that it stays moist. When live trees dry out, they become more of a fire risk. Also, you should keep your tree away from fireplaces, radiators, and other heat sources that could lead to a fire.
- Keep fragile ornaments or ornaments with small parts away from children. Consider not getting these ornaments out at all while your children are young or placing them at the top of the tree.
- Use strings of lights the way they are designed. If the box says outdoor lights, don’t use them indoors and vice versa. Additionally, never plug in more strings of lights to one another than what the box indicates is safe.
- When preparing holiday meals, follow all food safety guidelines carefully. You don’t want to face food poisoning during the holiday season or accidentally poison your guests.
- Before purchasing a gift for a child, check the labels carefully to make sure it is age-appropriate. For children three and under, choose toys that have no small parts that could become choking hazards. Children ages 10 and under should not have toys that require that they be plugged into an outlet as this carries the risk of electrocution.
Injured Due to Negligence? We Can Help
According to the National Safety Council, approximately 115 people die on U.S. roads on Christmas Day. No one wants to lose a loved one this holiday season, so be sure to follow the safety tips above to protect your loved ones.
If you do have the misfortune of being involved in an accident this holiday season, don’t panic. Follow our step-by-step guide for what to do after a Florida car accident.
Then, schedule a free consultation with the car accident lawyers at Goldman & Daszkal. We’ll help you seek financial restitution if you’ve been injured.