Thanksgiving is meant to be a time of joy, family, togetherness, and gratitude. However, this beloved American holiday also carries increased risks of injury and harm that many people don’t realize. Amidst the hustle and bustle of preparations, people often let their guard down, leading to accidents with severe consequences. Being aware of these hidden dangers is the first step toward a safe and happy Thanksgiving for all.
Thanksgiving Cooking Fires Reach Record Highs
Cooking lies at the very heart of the celebration, but it also brings serious fire risks. Thanksgiving Day sees three times as many cooking fires as a typical day according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Unattended cooking remains the leading cause of U.S. home fires year-round, but on Thanksgiving distracted cooks trying to multi-task raise the risks exponentially.
Deep fryer fires also spiked to alarming levels around Thanksgiving. The NFPA estimates deep fryers cause over 4,900 fires each Thanksgiving. Hot oil can ignite easily and splatter dangerously if food is not dried properly or the oil is overheated. Underwriters Laboratories strongly recommends never deep frying frozen turkeys, which can cause explosive results.
Impaired Driving Soars During Holiday Weekend
The dangers don’t end once the turkey is cooked. Over 1 million people are arrested for impaired driving during the Thanksgiving holiday period according to the American Automobile Association. Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that 44% of the traffic fatalities that occur on Thanksgiving Day involve intoxicated drivers.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving has become known as “Blackout Wednesday” due to the levels of binge drinking. However, impaired drivers endanger others throughout the long four-day weekend. Driving under the influence remains a leading cause of avoidable tragedies.
Preventable Injuries Spike in Homes Too
Beyond cooking and driving risks, all types of preventable injuries spike over the holidays. Falls are the top cause of non-fatal Thanksgiving injuries, sending over 16,000 people to the ER in 2018 according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Excited children running around and older adults weakened by winter illnesses are especially prone to slips and falls.
Lacerations from kitchen knives and other cooking-related injuries also skyrocket at Thanksgiving, accounting for over 2,000 ER visits. Rushing while preparing the big meal raises the likelihood of cuts. Overall, the risk of accidents and injuries climbs much higher than on a typical day due to distractions and crowded homes.
Seek Justice After Holiday Injuries
Some Thanksgiving injuries lead to permanent disability or even death. If a preventable accident upends your life, you need strong legal support on your side. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Kaiman & Crahan can help victims recover and rebuild after catastrophic injuries caused by the negligence of others. We thoroughly investigate accidents to determine fault and fight for maximum compensation for all your losses. Don’t suffer through the holidays alone.