The holidays are supposed to be filled with joy – and they often are. However, all the merriment and excitement can be wiped away in an instant when there’s an accident that leaves you or someone you love with a serious injury.
Several factors contribute to an increase in accidents around the holidays.
Many people – more than 174 million in the United States – plan to travel during the holidays to visit family and friends. This often leads to more people on the roads, in the airports and on public transportation. The more people are out and about, the higher the chances of an accident occurring in the first place, especially when you factor in things like winter road conditions and a general unfamiliarity with the terrain. The shorter daylight hours in winter also mean travelers are often driving in the dark, with reduced visibility, which also increases the odds of a crash.
Fatigue and stress
The holiday season can be stressful due to various reasons, including travel preparations, gift shopping and family gatherings. Fatigue and stress can impair decision-making and reaction times, contributing to accidents. Even just thinking about the holidays or family drama while driving can be a major distraction that could lead to a wreck.
Celebrations during the holidays often involve the consumption of alcohol in greater quantities than normal. Unfortunately, there always seem to be people who choose to drive under the influence, and that often leads to tragic accidents. New Year’s Day, for example, sees drunk driving fatalities rise an average of 117% higher than normal.
Holiday-related activities and events can attract large crowds, increasing the chances of accidents. This can include falls in shopping malls, hotels and various venues where holiday events are being held. All it takes is a poorly lit hallway with torn carpet, a missing handrail on some stairs or unruly guests intent on a goal to cause a serious slip-and-fall accident.
Whatever the cause, if you suffer a holiday accident that you believe someone could have prevented with just a little reasonable effort and care, it’s wise to find out more about your legal options. Fair compensation can keep the financial burdens of an injury from overwhelming you.