Personal Injury During Thanksgiving: What Should You Watch Out For?

Thanksgiving is ideally a time of relaxation, good company, and thankfulness for all the positive things in your life. Hopefully, your Thanksgiving will be a safe one, giving you peace of mind.

To ensure safety during the holiday, it’s important to remain mindful about the risks. The following are some of the accidents that often occur over Thanksgiving weekend.

Vehicular accidents

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (part of the US Department of Transportation) points out how during a 6-day period encompassing Thanksgiving, there’s a 54% increase in trips of at least 50 miles. The vast majority of these trips are carried out with a vehicle.

Unfortunately, the number of traffic accidents also tends to go up sharply on Thanksgiving. The roads are more crowded. Some people make the illegal and unwise decision to drive after drinking. Other times, people wind up driving late at night and are fatigued. If they’re driving with more passengers than usual in the car, they may be more easily distracted. They could also be rushing to different events, such as their family dinner, and wind up speeding (and possibly texting their loved ones that they’ll be arriving soon – even though texting-while-driving often leads to death and injury). On top of all of this, poor weather may result in icy roads or low visibility.

It’s critical for drivers to prioritize safety. This means avoiding texting-while-driving and minimizing other distractions, making sure not to drink before driving, and abiding by all traffic laws. You should remain attentive on the road and avoid driving if you’re likely to feel fatigued. Take breaks along the way, and switch drivers if possible. Always wear a seat belt, and don’t forget to use your headlights after dark.

Kitchen accidents

The Thanksgiving meal is the highlight of the holiday, but meal preparation comes with potential dangers.

The US Fire Administration reports that between 2011-2013, there were an average of roughly 2,100 residential fires per year on Thanksgiving Day alone. People can minimize the chances of a fire by not leaving their cooking unattended and by checking that their kitchen equipment works well beforehand (e.g. checking if an appliance has frayed electrical cords). It’s also important not to leave flammable substances, such as paper towels or oil, close to the cooking.

Other kitchen injuries stem from accidents involving knives. Distraction is a common cause of such accidents, which can lead to severed fingers, nerve and tendon damage, and serious lacerations. Paying attention even to routine kitchen tasks is critical for lowering the chances of a kitchen knife accident.

People may also sustain burns from a hot stove or another heat source. Again, this sometimes comes down to distraction or a kitchen being too crowded. It’s also important to keep an eye on younger children and make sure they aren’t getting too close to a stove, dangerous appliance, or sharp implements.

Sports accidents

It’s common for people to not only watch football on Thanksgiving, but also to play a little football with family and friends. Last year, NPR came out with a piece cautioning people about football injuries, which often involve broken bones and sprains, but can also prove even more serious (e.g. a head injury). It’s important to play with greater care, understand the limits of your body (and level of athleticism), and not to mix alcohol with playing football.

Would you need to contact an attorney?

In the aftermath of an accident, you may need to reach out to an experienced attorney to figure out how to cope with medical bills and other expenses. Don’t hesitate to contact us. We will carefully review the circumstances surrounding your accident and give you assistance with handling insurance companies and, depending on the situation, holding any people or companies responsible for your accident accountable.