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Thanksgiving has come and gone and it is now officially the Christmas season. I know most of us have been seeing decorations for months now, but I tend to be a little old fashioned and like my holidays one at a time. I’m not a big fan of the Hallowthanksmis trend. But, I digress. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are looking forward to a joyous Christmas.

As much as I love this time of year with all of its toy runs and other events, my happiness is always slightly tempered by the knowledge that with the New Year, my work, as a personal injury attorney, will become very busy.

For all of the joy, the holidays can bring there is the heightened elements of danger and tragedy that seem to come with them. Accidental fires, drunk drivers and over stressed, increasingly violent shoppers are just a few of the hazards that come with the season.

In the interest of my being able to have a restful New Year and you finding nothing but happiness during the Christmas Season, I would like to offer you a few safety tips to help keep tragedy at bay.

Holiday Road Safety Tips                                                                                    

Florida roads can be dangerous any time of year, but when you add all the people trying to escape the north’s frigid weather, for the holidays, the many families trying to travel back north, to spend the season with family, and the simple fact that with the plethora of office parties and other events, this is one of the worst times of the year for DUI’s and you have a very scary situation on your hands. Here are few tips to help keep you safe on the Florida roads this year.

Check Your Car

It may be the season of giving and Floridians may be known for their Southern Hospitality, but you don’t want to end up stuck on the side of a Florida highway during the holidays. Whatever trip you are making, be sure your vehicle is up to it.

Travel Early or Late

Avoid the heaviest traffic by flipping your clock and traveling late at night and early in the morning. Not only will you make better time, but less traffic makes it easier to spot drivers that may have already had a little too much holiday spirit.

Hide the Goods

Keep presents and other valuables in the trunk or covered out of view. Not everyone traveling this time of year is on the road for pleasure.

More Than Defensive Driving

By far the biggest danger on the roads this time of year is from drunk drivers. No matter how heavy the traffic, practice safe driving habits. Keep your distance. Don’t get distracted and most importantly keep your eyes on other drivers and don’t be afraid to call the authorities if you suspect an intoxicated driver.

Holiday Decoration Safety

While normally outside the venue of my legal practice, the other notes of caution I would like to share are for helping you avoid being your own worst enemy during the holidays. Countless lives and properties are destroyed, purely by accident each year, from mistakes made in the enthusiasm of decorating for the season.

  • Never leave home or go to bed with any type of decorations still powered up. Most people think of their lights, but the motorized decorations that have become so popular can present an even a greater danger.
  • Obviously, never put anything flammable close to an open flame. This can include live trees close to a fireplace. Even with a screen, you would be surprised how far embers can fly.
  • Angel Hair is popular for Christmas trees in Florida. It is about as close to snow as we usually see here, but many people can be sensitive to it. Use fire retardant cotton as a replacement to avoid skin problems
  • Never connect more than three sets of lights together or run extension cords end to end (Daisy Chain).
  • If it is electrical, make sure it has the proper “UL Certified” markings and make sure they are real. There are some good fakes out there but the few pennies they will save you can cost you your home or your life.

The Christmas season should be one of the happiest times of the year. I sincerely hope that these few safety suggestions will be of some help in making sure that yours is. If tragedy should befall you this year, please remember that we at Sinclair Law always stand ready to serve you.