The holidays are approaching and that means a disruption to normal schedules. The holidays involve shopping for gifts and many parties and gatherings with family, friends and coworkers. Some people attending parties may consume too much alcohol and pose a danger to other drivers if they get behind the wheel.
Know how to recognize and avoid the safety hazards that come with the holiday season. By being proactive and knowing how to avoid these hazards when they arise, you can reduce your chances of being injured in an accident. You cannot eliminate the risk completely. If you are injured in an accident caused by another driver this holiday season, contact a knowledgeable Boston accident attorney about the possibility of filing a personal injury claim. If you face expenses after an accident caused by another driver’s carelessness or disregard for safety, you may be entitled to monetary compensation from the driver responsible for your injuries.
Holiday Travel Accidents
During the holidays, the highways are more congested as travelers make their way to loved ones’ homes. Aside from the congestion, travelers may be unfamiliar with the area and thus be driving more erratically as they try to find their way with the help of a smartphone or GPS. These distracted drivers pose a safety risk to other motorists and pedestrians on the road. In addition, the weather during the holiday season could include snow or ice on the road, creating more driving hazards.
You can minimize your risk of being injured in a traffic accident by driving defensively and remaining focused. Do not exceed a safe speed limit based on the road conditions. Maintain a safe following distance behind other cars, adjust your speed to accommodate the weather and do not use your phone while you are driving. A quick reaction time can mean the difference between narrowly avoiding a collision and suffering life-altering consequences as a result of a crash this holiday season.
Drunk Driving Accidents
People drink at holiday parties and, all too often, they then get behind the wheel. Even if you choose not to drink alcohol, others may over indulge. Alcohol can impair a driver’s ability to accurately judge objects and distances and slow reaction times.
To reduce the risk of a drunk driving accident, coordinate transportation home from the party with your family, friends, and colleagues to plan a safe ride home for everybody. This might mean carpooling with a designated driver or taking public transportation to your destination. It could also mean planning to stay over at a loved one’s home instead of driving home after a holiday party.
If you are the host of a holiday party and choose to serve alcohol, offer alcohol-free beverages as a choice as well. Stop serving alcohol at least 45 minutes before the end of the party. Remind your guests to plan ahead and designate a sober driver.
Do not believe the myths that running around the block or drinking a cup of coffee will sober someone up. It takes ample time for your body to metabolize alcohol.
Slip and Fall Injuries
During the winter, black ice can be found everywhere. Sidewalks and outdoor steps can become especially dangerous once the temperature dips below 32 degrees. Property owners have the responsibility to maintain their homes and businesses. In the winter, this generally involves shoveling snow and spreading salt crystals on the ice to melt it. Property owners can be held liable for injuries that occur because of their failure to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition.
Ladders also pose a falling risk during the holiday season as people use them to hang holiday lights, garland, and decorate a Christmas tree. Pay attention to ladder safety by taking the following safety measures:
- Place the ladder on an even, stable surface;
- Make use of the four-to-one rule: for every four feet the ladder stands, its base should be one foot from the wall. For example, an eight-foot ladder should be at least two feet from each surrounding wall;
- With stepladders, always open them completely and make sure the braces are locked;
- Do not overreach for distant objects. Instead, move the ladder;
- Have another person present when you are using a ladder to help you in case of an accident;
- Tie your shoelaces securely and do not use a ladder while wearing any type of clothing that has loose or hanging material that can catch on it;
- Do not use a ladder if you have been drinking alcohol; and
- Never use a ladder in high winds.
Kitchen and Deep Fryer Burns
The holidays are a time for specialty foods. For many, this means using certain specialty equipment, like a deep fryer. With guests in and out of the kitchen during holiday gatherings, it can be easy for a child or even an adult to be injured by an unsecured piece of kitchen equipment.
Injuries that occur in the kitchen can fall into the realm of premises liability. A homeowner is required to maintain a safe environment for his or her guests in all areas of his or her property – indoor and outdoor. If an injury happens in the kitchen that could have been avoided if the homeowner took care to eliminate a hazard, the victim could have grounds for a premises liability claim.
Boston Accident Lawyers
Despite taking all the necessary precautions, you or a loved one could suffer an injury this holiday season or at any other point during the year. If this happens, be proactive and seek help from a knowledgeable injury lawyer in Boston after receiving adequate medical care. Contact the Boston accident attorneys at Michael Kelly Injury Lawyers today to schedule your free legal consultation with a member of our firm. We can answer any questions you have about the personal injury claim process. Do not wait to make the call – be proactive and start working on your case with us today.