As the holiday season approaches, the streets of Chicago, like many other cities, become bustling with increased traffic and holiday cheer. However, this time of year also sees a spike in accidents, ranging from minor collisions to severe accidents. At Hale & Monico, we understand the complexities of holiday accidents and are committed to helping those affected navigate their legal options. That’s why our Chicago personal injury attorneys have compiled this list of common holiday accident causes.
Holiday Season and Increased Accident Risks
The holiday season is synonymous with family gatherings, festive celebrations, and, unfortunately, an increased risk of accidents. The influx of tourists and residents rushing to complete their holiday preparations leads to congested roads and heightened stress levels. This environment and the unpredictable Chicago winter weather create a hazardous combination.
Driving Under the Influence
A significant concern during the holidays is the rise in impaired driving. The National Safety Council reports that about 30% of fatal collisions during the Christmas period involve an impaired driver. DUI poses a threat to the driver, pedestrians, and other road users. It’s crucial to plan ahead and ensure a safe return home if participating in holiday festivities involving alcohol.
Distractions: A Major Contributor
Distracted driving, mainly due to increased mobile phone usage, is another major cause of holiday accidents. The dazzling holiday lights, busy shopping streets, and the overall festive atmosphere can divert a driver’s attention from the road. Navigation to unfamiliar locations and the stress of holiday preparations further exacerbate this issue.
Parking Lot Accidents
The holiday shopping rush often leads to crowded parking lots, increasing the chances of accidents. These incidents can range from the minor inconveniences of fender benders to more grave occurrences involving pedestrians. Despite our vehicles being better equipped than ever with safety features like backup cameras, the onus of responsibility in these bustling parking lots firmly rests on the shoulders of each driver. So this year, take extra care when moving through parking lots.
Other Common Causes
In addition to the factors already discussed, accidents during the holidays can also be attributed to other causes, such as:
- Tripping over extension cords: Can lead to falls and related injuries such as sprains, bruises, or head injuries.
- Injuries from holiday decorations: Falling decorations can cause cuts, bruises, or eye injuries.
- Fires caused by faulty Christmas tree lights or candles: These can result in burn injuries, smoke inhalation, and even more severe consequences in case of a significant fire outbreak.
These incidents, while seemingly minor, can lead to serious injuries and should not be overlooked.
Common Injuries During Holiday Accidents
Accidents during the holiday season can result in a variety of injuries. These commonly include:
- Whiplash: Often a result of rear-end collisions, whiplash can cause neck pain and stiffness, headaches, and dizziness.
- Concussions: Caused by a blow to the head, concussions can lead to symptoms like confusion, nausea, and memory problems.
- Broken Bones: Impact from accidents can result in fractures, particularly in the arms, legs, and ribs.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: These serious injuries can lead to permanent changes in strength, sensation, and other body functions.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: Ranging from mild to severe, these injuries can have long-term effects on cognitive and motor functions.
Often these types of injuries may require a lengthy recovery process.
Stay Safe This Holiday Season
Our experienced Chicago personal injury attorneys are well-equipped to handle the complexities of holiday-related accidents. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident during this festive season, we are here to offer our expertise and support. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at Hale & Monico. Let us help you navigate these challenging times with our professional and compassionate legal services.