Tips for Having a Safe Thanksgiving Holiday


Thanksgiving is a one-a-year time when you know all of your family and friends can get together. No matter how you celebrate this holiday, everyone’s goal is to create new, happy memories that will last a lifetime.

Not everything on Thanksgiving will go off without a hitch. The turkey might burn, and the mashed potatoes might be a little watery, but these accidents are preferable to others that can cause serious injuries. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is one of those times of the year when medical professionals are a little busier than usual, tending to medical emergencies caused by Thanksgiving-related accidents.

You can have the power, however, to avoid becoming injured on Thanksgiving. By practicing some of the safety tips below, you can increase your odds of ensuring your holiday memories will be those you can cherish.

How to Drive Safely During Thanksgiving Travel

According to the National Safety Council, most people choose to travel by car for Thanksgiving. This mode of transportation has the highest fatality rate in the U.S., and the NSC estimates that as many as 515 people may have died in car accidents last year from 6 p.m. on Wednesday before Thanksgiving through the following Sunday.

With this in mind, it’s more important than ever to do whatever you can to minimize your risk of becoming involved in a car accident.

Travel Before & After Holiday Traffic Peaks

If possible, avoid expected peaks in Thanksgiving holiday travel. You can do this by arriving at or close to your destination early on Wednesday or even Tuesday night. You can also plan to leave on Saturday or Monday to avoid an expected uptick in outbound traffic during Sunday evening.

Always Obey Traffic Laws

You should always obey traffic laws, but doing so during the Thanksgiving holiday is more important than usual. Traffic laws help drivers avoid collisions, and you can prevent one by obeying the speed limit, coming to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs, and avoiding distracted driving behaviors.

Practice Defensive Driving

You can’t control whether or not other drivers will drive as safely as you, but you can still take action to avoid a collision with them. Practicing defensive driving techniques can help you avoid hazards on the road, especially those caused by unsafe drivers.

Here are a few defensive driving tips you can follow:

  • Always keep your eyes on the road
  • Check your mirrors often
  • Always signal and look before changing lanes
  • If someone tailgates you, pull over to let them pass
  • Never follow another vehicle closer than one car length for every 5 mph you’re traveling (For example: Keep a distance of 13 car lengths if traveling at 65 mph; 9 if traveling at 45 mph; 4 if traveling at 20 mph; etc.)
  • Slow down during inclement weather (wind, rain, snow, ice, fog, etc.)

By following these tips and other defensive driving advice you can find elsewhere, you can reduce your likelihood of becoming involved in a collision.

Never Drink & Drive

It’s always worth reminding people that it’s never safe to drink and drive. Even if you need to get somewhere after drinking, wait to sober up or have a sober driver take you there. There are many rideshare services out there that can help you reach your destination as well.

How to Avoid Thanksgiving Injuries in the Kitchen

Many other common Thanksgiving accidents are those that happen in the kitchen. From burn injuries to lacerations and electrical shock, there are many more hazards in the kitchen than most people realize.

Be Mindful of Burn Injury Hazards

If you are preparing any part of your Thanksgiving meal, always be mindful of the potential for a burn injury.

This means never touching a potentially hot surface or appliance without heat protection. Always use an oven mitt or handle cover when putting or removing dishes from the stove or the oven. Wear an apron that can not only protect your clothes but your body from splash hazards caused by boiling oil or gravy. You can also wear something with sleeves for added protection!

Always Pay Attention to Your Hands

If your hands are doing something in the kitchen, keep an eye on them. Whether you’re cutting produce, carving the turkey, or even stirring gravy, you can avoid an unnecessary injury simply by looking at what you’re doing.

Never Cut with Dull Knives

Sharp knives are a lot safer than dull knives. This might seem counterintuitive, but it’s true!

You have a lot more control over where a sharp blade goes because you don’t need to put in as much effort for it to cut. Dull knives require more effort to get the job done, so they’re liable to slip with the additional force required to get them going.

A slip from a dull knife can cause the blade to go in an unintended direction toward your fingers, hand, body, or someone else’s.

Test Handheld Appliances & Devices

If you have handheld appliances such as mixers, food processors, or similar devices, give them a test run before you really need them. You should neither smell ozone or burning odors nor feel intense heat in places where your hands should be while operating these devices. If you do, consider replacing them as they may be defective or broken.

Keep Kitchen Traffic to a Minimum

Lastly, a great way to avoid a personal injury on Thanksgiving is to minimize the number of people in the kitchen. When there are more bodies than necessary in a relatively small setting, it can cause distractions and confusion that increase the odds of an accident involving something sharp or hot.

We’re Here If You Need Legal Assistance

The Law Office of Robert J. Kaiser wishes everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving, but we also know that this holiday can lead to many different kinds of injuries. If you are injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence or because of a defective product you used in the kitchen, we want to hear from you.

When you meet with us for a consultation, we can learn more about your claim and let you know how we may be able to help. To get started, don’t hesitate to reach out to us as soon as possible!

You can contact us online or call (661) 441-3446 for help with your personal injury claim.