It’s supposed to be the happiest season of all, but not if you’re the victim of an accident caused by another’s negligence. It’s hard to be in a festive mood if you or a loved one is in the hospital, too injured to work or enjoy the holidays. There are many factors that combine to make November, December, and January especially dangerous, perhaps the most dangerous time of the year.
Many of us will forget how to drive on ice and snow when it finally arrives. It is easy to lose control of a vehicle when traction is poor and you’re unprepared to handle it. Nights are longer and visibility can be bad, especially if it is raining or snowing. For those of us driving four-wheel drive vehicles, that helps us move forward when roads are slippery, not slow down or stop the vehicle on ice. If you drive such a car, SUV, or truck, over-confidence can result in driving at unsafe speeds for the road conditions, accidents and injuries.
This time of the year, from Thanksgiving through Christmas and New Year’s Eve brings countless office and holiday parties and family gatherings. USA Today reports these holidays are in the top six of the most dangerous holidays of the year for those of us on the roads, in part because many drivers are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Christmas Day comes in at number six, New Year’s Day is five and Thanksgiving Day is listed at three. The most hazardous holiday is July 4th.
With so much going on, so many errands, and so much shopping to do, many drivers lose focus on what’s really important – driving safely. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in 2015 3,477 people in the U.S. were killed by distracted drivers.
We focus too much on getting that parking spot, not on the pedestrians walking in the parking lot. We want to keep in touch with family and friends so we talk on our smartphones or text while driving. We drive long hours on congested roads and highways during the holidays to spend time with family, leaving us fatigued and distracted. So Relax. Slow Down. Be Safe. It is better to leave chores undone than to wind up spending a holiday in the emergency room. No one will notice you forgot to make the green bean casserole, but they will notice your absence at the holiday table.
Before you buy a gift for someone, especially a toy for a child, take a good look at it. What does it do? How does it work? Might it be dangerous? CBS News reports that an article in the journal Clinical Pediatrics states that ride-on-toys (including scooters, wagons, tricycles and motor-powered kiddie vehicles) accounted for 35% percent of injuries and 43% of hospital admissions of kids younger than 18 from 1990 to 2011. Be particularly careful of toys with small parts and pay attention to age related warnings for use.
If you or a family member has been injured, call Scott Fegley at the Fegley Law Firm. Mr. Fegley has 30 years of accident litigation experience.
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