Most of us start with the best of intentions each holiday shopping season. We set a budget. We make a plan. We resolve to slow down and enjoy ourselves.
There is every evidence the holiday season is in full season as early as ever in Southwest Florida this year, to the joy of most as we continue the fight to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic that has cast a shadow over the world for nearly two years. More events are planned. More family gatherings are happening. Legions of people have made positive changes to their work-life balance that are likely to endure well after we put the pandemic behind us.
At Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, we wish each of you a peaceful and joyful holiday season full of family, friends, good times and lasting memories. Understanding the risks, talking with friends and loved one, visiting elderly relatives, teaching your children, and resolving to stay safe will all help ensure a great end to 2021 and a hopeful start to 2022.
Here is our best advice when it comes to staying safe.
Avoiding Car Accidents this Holiday Season
If flying is any indication, the roads are going to be busier than ever and, despite perhaps the best of intentions, tempers are going to grow short too often, and for too many. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t drive aggressively. Avoid distraction. Even a minor fender bender while looking at your phone is enough to turn the holiday season into a parade of rental cars, body shops and inconveniences.
The top 3 reasons for traffic collisions are responsible for well over three-quarters of all “accidents:”
- Distracted Driving
- Drunk Driving
- Aggressive Driving
Beyond that, resolve to pay particular attention in high risk areas, including intersections, parking lots and near school zones, parks and playgrounds. These areas are where you will most often encounter the vulnerable road users most at risk of serious or fatal injuries: Bicyclists and pedestrians. Always give them the right of way.
Shop Smart – Shop Safe
Every year, beginning on Black Friday and ending on Christmas Eve, consumers shop more than they do the entire rest of the year combined.
This year’s crowds are likely to encounter product shortages, higher prices, understaffed stores, and record crowds. If that doesn’t sound like your idea of a joyful and peaceful holiday season, make a plan to stay safe. If that sounds like great fun you have been looking forward to for the better part of two years, make a plan and stay safe.
- Parking lots: Hanging a skull and crossbones at the entrance to parking lots would probably not be in keeping with the holiday spirit. But it would deliver the message: Parking lots are among the most dangerous locations the average person visits on a regular basis. The busy holiday shopping season exponentially increases the risks. Watch for the elderly and small children, who are most at risk. Don’t walk directly behind parked cars. Use crosswalks and obey the signs that are posted. Park in a well lit area and don’t leave valuable merchandise on display in your vehicle.
- Store Safety: Overstocked merchandise is a hidden threat. Employees and customers can be seriously injured by falling or unstable merchandise. This year’s supply chain challenges and anticipated record demand are expected to increase the risks. Wet and slippery floors, trip hazards and even assault are other causes of injury as shoppers hit the stores in record numbers. Try to go early or at off times. Make a list and have a plan.
- Private gatherings: Backover accidents are the standout tragedy. Have a plan to keep the kids well away from parked cars. And make a parking plan that doesn’t obstruct the view of visitors or passing motorists. Beyond that, you can be a responsible host. Don’t over serve alcohol and have plenty of food and non-alcoholic options.
- Product injuries: From grills and fireplaces, to toys and games, we bring more new products into our home during the holidays than at any other time of the year. Our Fort Myers injury lawyers have written before about the increasing risks of product injuries posed by online shopping and the Internet economy.
Our point is not to harp on all the things that can go wrong. The message is that making a plan to stay safe will go a long way toward making memories this holiday season, by avoiding the risks that too often result in holiday tragedy.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.