The incidence of accidents causing personal injury increases during the holiday season, including those caused by someone else’s negligence. The rate of accidents can be lowered at least somewhat if people like you are better informed as to what to look out for during the winter holiday period.
Common Types of Holiday Season Accidents
The two most common types of accidents giving rise to personal injury are automobile collisions and slip and fall incidents. Although these are common causes of accidents and injury throughout the rare, the rate of both these types of incidents increase from the period beginning just before Thanksgiving and running through the day after the New Year holiday. These are followed by different types of burns.
Holiday Season Automobile Accidents
The increase in automobile accidents is primarily due to an upward tic in the number of intoxicated drivers on roadways across the country. Over 33 percent of automobile collisions that occur during the holiday season involve an intoxicated driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Board.
New Year’s Eve represents a particularly deadly time to be on the road. The NHTSB reports that the automobile accident fatality rate is five-times above the daily average on New Year’s Eve in the United States.
Younger drivers also face a higher rate of risk of being injured or killed in an auto accident during the holiday season, particularly one involving alcohol. 40 percent of all drivers under the age of 25 involved in a car accident between mid-December and the New Year are alcohol-related incidents.
Icy and wet roadways, more common in some parts of the country, also increase the risk of accidents. In addition, more people travel longer distances by motor vehicle during the holiday season. Finally, a greater number of people are driving in the dark during the holidays, coming and going to celebrations and gatherings.
Holiday Season Slip and Fall Incidents
Slip and fall accidents are second only to automobile collisions when it comes to injury-causing events. As is the case with car accidents, the rate of slip and fall cases, and fall cases more generally, increase over the holiday season. A full 6,000 emergency room admissions in the United States during the winter holiday period are for individuals injured when putting up Christmas decorations, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More often than not, these are people who fell from ladder while placing Christmas or holiday lights.
Holiday Season Burns
Burns represent a third area in which a spike in personal injury occurs during the holiday season. There are three primary categories of burns experienced during the holiday season. These are those associated with some sort of faulty electrical device and those connected with candles and a fireplace. Scalding, and other stove- and oven-related burns are more common during the winter holiday period as well.
Negligence and Accidents During the Holiday Season
As the rate of accidents and injuries increase during the holiday season, so does the incidence of those events caused because of the negligence of a third party. For example, a store that is open to customers and yet fails to properly address ice or water in the entryway to the facility can be responsible for injuries sustained by a patron who slips and falls. An automobile accident caused by a legally intoxicated motorist is another common example of third-party negligence causing an accident during the holiday season.
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