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Thanksgiving Tips – How to Avoid Personal Injury

November 22 2022 | Blog
  • Happy Thanksgiving

    As family and friends across the country prepare for Thanksgiving celebrations this week, it is important to keep safety top of mind. Large gatherings of people, chaotic kitchens, alcohol, and Holiday traffic are just a few of the many elements that increase the risk of personal injury on Thanksgiving.

    Kitchen Fires

    The US Fire Administration reports that from 2017-2019, there were an estimated 2,300 building fires on Thanksgiving Day each year. This number was more than double the amount on each other day, with 74% of them being cooking fires. Whether you are attempting to make a family recipe or frying your first turkey, there are a few tips to keep in mind to avoid personal injury when preparing your Thanksgiving meal.

    1. If you are cooking on a stove top, stay in the kitchen and keep an eye on the food.
    2. When cooking turkey make sure to check on it frequently and do not leave it unattended.
    3. Keep children away from the stove, hot foods, hot liquids, and sharp utensils. Kids should be made aware of all hot surfaces, and stay a safe distance from any hot foods or liquids that could potentially splash from the food. It is also smart to keep all knives and sharp cooking utensils away from the edge of the counter and out of reach.
    4. Before cooking, test all smoke alarms in the home to ensure each are working properly.

    Keeping yourself safe in the kitchen is important, but you also need to make sure all guests on your property are mindful and keep themselves out of harm’s way. Even if it is not your fault, you could be held liable if a guest is injured on your property. Visit our Fire & Burn Injuries page to learn more about potential claims your guests could file if injured on your property.

    Thanksgiving Travel

    With the drop in Covid-19 cases, many people are predicted to hit the road for Thanksgiving, some for the first time in years! Undoubtedly, there will be heavy traffic on the highways. The Thanksgiving holiday already comes with higher risks of injury, and traffic accidents are one of the leading causes. In fact, the National Safety Council predicts that around 515 people may be fatally injured in a traffic accident this Thanksgiving, based on historical data. To decrease your likelihood of being in a car accident this holiday season, consider the following safety tips suggested by the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base:

    1. When planning for your trip, check the weather forecast prior to leaving. This is the best way to be prepared and be on high alert for inclement weather.
    2. Get your vehicle serviced and examined to ensure it is travel-worthy. It is best to have it checked out by an experienced mechanic.
    3. Give yourself a buffer period of time to account for increased traffic – leave a little earlier.
    4. Have roadside safety materials in your vehicle in case of emergency. Some important items to have are:
      • A flashlight with extra batteries
      • Jumper cables
      • A blanket/warm coat
      • A tool kit
    5. Watch your surroundings at all times. It is best to assume the drivers around you are not as attentive and familiar with the area.
    6. Make sure you are well-rested before initiating your travel. Drowsy driving should be avoided at all costs.

    All of the above tips are associated with traveling to and from holiday destinations, but there is a specific risk that typically has to do with traveling from your destination to home on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate and take part in all of the holiday festivities with your friends and family. Celebrations tend to lead to… what?

    Alcohol Consumption/Drunk Driving

    You guessed it! From watching a football game to spending time with family and friends, Thanksgiving is one of the top holidays for alcohol consumption. The Thanksgiving holiday technically starts Wednesday evening and lasts through Sunday. With most people being off work on Thursday, a new term has been introduced to represent the night before Thanksgiving: Blackout Wednesday. Mainly popular with college-aged individuals, Wednesday night has increasingly turned into a night of binge drinking, and then continued drinking through the holiday on Thursday.

    In addition, since Covid-19 has limited contact and gatherings for many years, people have started to use alcohol as a way to make themselves more sociable at celebrations they attend with family and friends. With increased alcohol consumption comes an increased risk of injury.

    Alcohol affects our bodies in many ways. When under the influence, judgement is impaired, reaction time slows, and attentiveness lessens. If you plan to partake in the alcohol consumption that accompanies Thanksgiving, be sure to have a pre-established designated driver, or use a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft and return for your vehicle the next day. Under no circumstances is it acceptable to be under the influence while driving.

    Even if you do not plan to drink throughout the holiday, be attentive and aware of your surroundings, when driving, and at the celebration. Others around you may be or may have been drinking throughout the day and could be less aware of what is going on. Be sure to watch out for yourself and your peers in all circumstances, especially in ones involving alcohol. Thanksgiving is supposed to be a day filled of giving thanks, not being full of regret.

    Our team at Hughes & Coleman wants to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving! Have fun celebrating with friends and reconnecting with family members. We care about our community members, and although we want you to enjoy the holiday, we also want you to be safe. Following the tips mentioned will not necessarily prevent you from being injured on Thanksgiving, but we do hope they reduce the chance. Stay safe and enjoy!

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