The holiday season is a joyous time for many; filled with tradition, delicious food, and festive lights, family and friends come together during this special time to celebrate. However, the holiday season also presents itself with ample opportunities for injury and disaster. With excessive Christmas lights, too many cooks in the kitchen, and an abundance of new toys, individuals are very vulnerable to injury during this time. If you are injured during the holidays as a result of the negligence of others, it is encouraged to contact a Van Nuys personal injury lawyer to guide you through the legal processes associated with a personal injury claim. Now, let’s dive into the most common holiday injuries and some preventative measures and safety tips to help keep you safe!


During the holiday season, there is inevitably an increase in cooking, festive candles, and Christmas lights. Taken together, all of these hazards create opportunity for a fire to occur. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that Thanksgiving Day has the greatest number of cooking fires with an estimated 1,600 fires, which is more than triple the daily average of cooking fires on any other day of the year. With fires, there is also a high possibility that you may suffer a severe burn. Besides cooking fires, electrical fires are also very common as electrical circuits are often overloaded with excessive amounts of lights and decorations plugged in.

Car Accidents

Unfortunately, during the holiday season, car accidents are plentiful. This is mostly due to the fact that the holidays create a conducive environment for drinking. This results in many individuals drinking irresponsibly and driving under the influence. Driving under the influence (DUI) is illegal and poses a threat both to you and others on the road. You are also putting yourself at risk for a DUI charge, which can have many life-long and devastating implications. 

Another reason that car accidents are very prevalent during the holidays is that there is an increase in travel during this time as people travel near and far to visit their loved ones. Inevitably, if there are more drivers on the road, there are bound to be more opportunities for accidents. Based upon a study conducted by the National Safety Council, these are the anticipated fatal car accident statistics for the upcoming 2023 holiday season:

  • 507 traffic accident fatalities estimated during the Thanksgiving holiday period
  • 346 traffic accident fatalities estimated during the Christmas Day holiday period 
  • 408 traffic accident fatalities estimated during the New Year’s Day holiday period


During the holidays, and particularly for Christmas, many families put up festive lights and decorations. However, putting up lights often requires the use of a ladder, which can be very dangerous in and of itself. According to the CSPC, there are approximately 160 Christmas decorating-related injuries every day during the holiday season, with over 40% of them involving falls. In the 2022 holiday season alone, about 14,800 people landed in the emergency room due to holiday decorating-related injuries. 

Another main cause of fall-related incidents over the holidays is cold weather conditions. During the winter months, it can become very snowy and icy in certain states. This creates slippery surfaces, thus making it much easier to slip and fall. Additionally, a common activity during the holiday season is ice skating which, again, poses a threat with slippery and icy conditions. 

Defective Toys

While the holidays are notorious for gift giving, one must be careful and discerning when choosing out toys for your little ones. According to the CPSC, there were over 1.1 million toys deemed either dangerous or illegal that were seized during the 2023 fiscal year. Many of these were due to the hazardous amounts of lead found in the toys. Not only do you want to be careful about not gifting dangerous or hazardous toys to children, but you also want to be sure that you discard plastic wrappings, silica gel packets, or any other potentially dangerous items in the packaging.

Safety Tips

While the aforementioned holiday injuries are not an exhaustive list, they account for many of the most common ones. Furthermore, it is important to educate yourself about what you can do to help protect yourself and stay safe during the holidays. Here are some safety tips:

  • Check for old and faulty electrical wires
  • Keep flammable objects away from places where there is fire, such as a stove, oven, or candle
  • Do not drink and drive
  • Stay alert on the road 
  • Have a designated, sober driver
  • Hire a professional to install your lights
  • Exercise caution when on a ladder
  • Look out for icy or snowy surfaces, wiping them down or plowing them if need be
  • Check warning labels and look out for recalled toy products
  • Properly dispose of toy packaging

While these safety tips do not necessarily guarantee that you will avoid an injury during the holiday season, taking these measures will put you at an advantage and help to keep you safe. Despite the injuries that may inevitably occur during the holidays, it is still encouraged to celebrate and enjoy this joyous season. Just have a little bit of caution and continue spreading holiday cheer. Happy holidays!