The holiday season is upon us. While this is an exciting time of the year for many people, it can also be a dangerous time of the year. The following article highlights some of the top holiday safety hazards, and provides tips on how to prevent accidents from happening.
- Car Accidents. Many Americans travel for the holidays, with many doing so by car. Given that weather conditions can be less than ideal in many parts of country during the holidays, it is important that drivers follow certain winter driving rules, such as reducing speed, braking gently to avoid skidding, always using headlights, maintaining a clean and clear windshield, and avoiding the use of cruise control. Motorists can prepare for winter holiday travel by checking the vehicle’s battery, tire treat, windshield wipers, washer fluid levels, and antifreeze. Always wear a seat belt and avoid texting, emailing, or talking on a cell phone while driving. Given that holiday celebrations often involve alcohol consumption, it is important to remember not to drink and drive. If you plan on drinking, designate a sober driver prior to the event.
- Toxic Plants. Many holiday plants, such as holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias, can be toxic to pets and small children. Keep such plants out of reach to prevent accidental ingestion.
- Flammable Trees. According to health.com, more than 400 residential fires involving Christmas trees happen each year, resulting in as many as 40 deaths and 100 injuries. Although Christmas trees cause the fewest holiday-related fires, they account for the highest percentage of deaths, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To minimize fire hazards, your best bet is to purchase a flame-resistant artificial tree. If you purchase a real tree, make sure to turn the lights off when unattended and keep candles away from a tree.
- Sledding Injuries. According to the National Safety Council, 33,000 sledding injuries happen every year. To reduce the likelihood of sledding injuries, parents should keep all equipment in good condition. Choose a location that doesn’t cross traffic and is free of trees, fences, rocks, or other obstacles. Avoid sledding on frozen lakes, streams, or ponds since the ice may not be as thick or strong as it appears.
- According to health.com, more than 5,000 people are injured in decorating-related falls each holiday season. Before hanging lights, make sure that the ladder is on secure and level ground, and set one foot away from the wall for every four feet in height. Never step on the top two rungs of the ladder, and if you plan on accessing the roof, extend the ladder at least 3 feet above the roof.
The Chicago accident and injury lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of accident and injury victims. If you were injured in a personal injury accident, contact Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish at (312) 445-9084 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago accident lawyers. Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.