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Busiest Holidays for Road Travel in the United States

  • All holidays have a higher-than-average drunk driving accident rate of 30% or more.
  • Warm holidays and especially 3-day weekends correlate with the highest driving risks.
  • New Year’s Eve and Christmas have a lower-than-average fatal accident rate.

Top Holidays for Dangerous Road Travel

Holidays make most of us want to travel, whether it’s to see family or just explore somewhere new. This inclination makes the roads busier and consequently raises our risk of a getting in a serious car accident. Holidays also correspond with a rise of alcohol consumption, and not everyone makes the right decisions to avoid driving while impaired.

These two factors combined can mean that your favorite holidays are dampened by the risks others create on the roads. While we don’t want that to sour your excitement for holiday road travel, but we do want everyone to be aware of the risks so that they can be more careful while traveling.

Our North Carolina car accident lawyers also want you to know that you have the right to representation if you have been in a car accident. A car accident attorney can help you negotiate settlements with insurers and if necessary, represent you in court against negligent drivers and the big insurance companies.

Be safe out there, and be aware of the following 7 most dangerous holidays to travel so that you can exercise caution appropriately.

Christmas

Christmas has the lowest travel risks of all the major holidays both according to fatal accident rates and drunk driving rates. The period around Christmas has an average of 231 fatal accidents throughout the U.S., although this number can grow or shrink depending on whether the holiday falls near a weekend. In 2014, for instance, a four-day weekend led to a higher-than average 355 fatalities.

However, alcohol tends to play a significant role in car accidents around Christmas, with over a third of all accidents in recent years involving inebriated drivers.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving means a heavy travel schedule for millions of families, and it also corresponds with a rise in drunk driving accidents. The holiday falls on a four-day weekend, raising the relative risks. On average, there are 258 fatal accidents around Thanksgiving, and 35% to 40% of accidents involve alcohol impairment.

New Year’s Eve

Shockingly, New Year’s Eve is far from the worst holiday for car accidents and drunk drivers. The holiday tends to be particularly safe when it falls on a weekend, which is the complete opposite trend compared to the most dangerous holidays to travel by car. Perhaps partygoers tend to make more responsible plans when they don’t have to worry about going to work the following day?

Whatever the reason, New Year’s averages 245 fatal accidents annually, which is lower than an average weekend on the calendar. Even still, 36% to over 50% of these accidents involve alcohol as a factor, which means drivers should be cautious, especially in the wee hours of the morning after the New Year has begun.

Easter

Easter offers another curve ball for this list: it has the fourth-highest fatal accident rate and the third-highest average for drunk driving accidents. The combination of warm spring weather and a weekend holiday may be behind this trend, which sees an average of 280 fatal accidents and 37% of accidents involving alcohol.

4th of July

Independence Day falls right in the middle of the summer, and it’s also a holiday that strongly encourages people to go all out when enjoying themselves. As a result, America’s Birthday also tends to be an extremely dangerous day on the road. On average, there are 307 fatal accidents and high drunk driving accident rates that usually exceed 40%.

The risks of driving on 4th of July grow bigger when the holiday falls on a weekend. For example, in 2014 there were 461 accident-related deaths on July 4th when the holiday created a four-day weekend.

Labor Day

Both of the most-dangerous holidays to travel create three-day weekends and happen during warm weather. Labor Day is the second-worst of these, with an average fatal accident rate of 308.

Last Labor Day was one of the most dangerous on record, with 394 deaths reported as a result of car and truck accidents. Around 40% of people also tend to have excess alcohol in their system when they get in an accident on Labor Day weekend.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is consistently the most dangerous holiday to drive out of the year. The holiday represents the first vacation opportunity of the summer for many, and millions of people are anxious to take trips and enjoy themselves. Congested roads and a higher likelihood of drunk driving combine to make the holiday weekend risky and outright deadly year after year.

On average, there are 312 deaths over Memorial Day weekend, and over 40% of all accidents involve alcohol. In 2015 (the most recent year for which FARS data is available), there were 367 deaths total across the three-day weekend period.

Driving Safely on the Holidays, and Know Your Rights!

You unfortunately can’t control anyone else on the road, but you can control yourself.

Start by only driving when you are alert, aware, and fully awake. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep and have plenty of food and non-alcoholic drink in your system. Avoid driving if you feel ill or are on any medications that warn you about operating machinery. Definitely do not drive if you have consumed alcohol that has impaired your abilities or put you over the legal limit.

Know your route so that you don’t have to divert your focus to navigation and so you also aren’t caught by surprise by sudden turns.

Obey all speed limit laws. Give other cars a wide berth, especially on highways. Anticipate when others may stop suddenly or come into your lane unexpectedly. Predicting that other drivers might make careless decisions or mistakes is the root of defensive driving techniques.

Finally, know your rights if you are in a car accident. Don’t speak to an insurance company without first speaking to a lawyer. You don’t have to accept an insurer’s first offer or negotiate your accident settlement alone. You do have the option to pursue a personal injury claim and potential lawsuit in order to secure the maximum amount of compensation for your damages after a car accident.

Know that you can trust in North Carolina car accident lawyers to be by your side after a serious car accident. If you have been in a car accident on a holiday or any other day of the year, you can reach out to our knowledgeable team for a free case evaluation.

Enjoy your holidays, drive safe, and know your rights!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. As it approaches, you may be thinking about cooking the family’s bird in a non-traditional way. Deep fried turkeys have become all the rage in the past several years and are tasty for sure.

Unfortunately, cooking the Thanksgiving “bird” in a fryer as opposed to an oven has caused quite a number of accidents across the country. If you will be deep frying your turkey this year, do so with these safety tips in mind.

Even if you follow every safety tip, deep frying a turkey can be dangerous! Do so at your own risk.

Safety Tips for Deep Frying a Turkey

1. Set Up the Fryer in an Open Space

You wouldn’t grill right next to your house. Many people won’t even grill on their decks if they are using charcoal. Deep frying a turkey is no different. In fact, deep frying a turkey should be done even farther from the house and any structures in your yard. If possible, set up the fryer on a flat patch of dirt.

2. Prepare the Setup Correctly

If you are using a propane-fueled fryer, leave at least 2 feet of space between the fryer and the propane tank. This will help to ensure that the propane tank won’t explode if something goes awry with the fryer.

3. Use the Right Oil

If you aren’t experienced with deep-frying (or with cooking in general), you may not know that different oils have different smoking points. When an oil reaches its smoking point, it can make your food taste terrible — and can be dangerous. For deep-frying, be sure to use an oil with a high smoking point, such as canola or peanut.

4. Thaw Your Turkey

This cannot be said enough, and it is often one of the first questions that people ask. Ice and water will mix into the hot oil and cause bursts of flames or flare ups, which can lead to an explosion. Thaw the turkey completely before it meets oil. For info about proper methods for thawing your turkey, consult the packaging on your turkey.

5. Submerge the Turkey Carefully

Just before you put the turkey in the fryer, turn off the machine’s burner. If oil spills or pops over the edges, it won’t land on an open flame. Turn the burner back on after the turkey has been safely submerged.

6. Don’t Overfill Your Pot

Your fryer’s instruction manual should tell you how much oil you can safely put in the fryer. While you are at it, consider choosing a smaller turkey. Smaller turkeys are more manageable when it comes to deep frying. Look for a turkey that weighs between 8 and 10 pounds. Remember, you can always fry two turkeys if you are worried about preparing enough food.

7. Don’t Fry a Fancy Turkey

Don’t stuff the turkey or use any type of water-based marinades. Make your stuffing separately and, if you like, rub a bit of marinade over the turkey after it is done or drizzle it with your favorite sauce.

8. Dress for the Occasion

Safety equipment should be worn and kept nearby at all times. Wear eye goggles to protect your eyes and safety gloves to protect your hands and arms. Keep a fire extinguisher on the ground nearby in case something catches fire.

9. Keep Interested Parties Away from the Fryer

Keep children and pets away from the fryer. It’s a good idea to keep everyone away from the fryer, as a matter of fact. However, an adult should ALWAYS be by the fryer when it’s turned on, even if there’s nothing in it yet.

What to Do If Something Goes Wrong

Though following these safety tips should prevent most mishaps, frying anything in hot oil can be dangerous. There may be a pocket of water in the turkey that causes the oil to pop, or a strong gust of wind may topple an unstable pot.

If something goes wrong while frying the turkey, follow these steps to minimize the damage:

1. Keep a Fire Extinguisher Handy

A fire caused by hot oil should never be doused with water. That will only exacerbate the issue. Keep an ABC-rated fire extinguisher on hand to put out any flames that may occur from oil spilling from the pot.

2. Don’t Leave It Unattended

If you get injured by the oil, don’t leave the fryer unattended to treat your wounds. Make sure there’s another adult nearby at all times who can take over and watch the fryer in case you need to suddenly leave for any reason.

3. Treat Any Burns Immediately

If you get burned by hot oil, run the affected area under cool water immediately, then wash with mild soap and water. Antibiotic ointments should be used to prevent infection, and cool compresses can help relieve pain and swelling. If the burn seems severe, seek medical attention immediately.

Have the Number for a Charlotte, North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney on Hand This Holiday Season

Deep frying a turkey has become a holiday tradition for some, and deep frying will be a new activity for many this year. If you plan on trying your hand at this cooking method, follow the steps above to be sure that you do so as safely as possible.

If you or a loved one are injured in North Carolina this holiday season through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and more. Reach out to our team of experienced Charlotte personal injury attorneys and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. Our office can be reached at 704-364-3361 and our phones are answered 24 hours per day.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. That means good food and good times with family and friends. But for too many, it also means an unfortunate trip to the ER. Though injuries can happen on Thanksgiving, they can also be avoided easily.

 

As Charlotte, NC personal injury lawyers, we’re all too familiar with the injuries that happen on Turkey Day. Though people can get injured in a variety of ways, it seems the most common reasons are food safety and outdoor activities.

Here’s a breakdown of those two categories, and how you can avoid injury this year:

Outdoor Activity Safety

Backyard Football

Playing touch football has become as much of a tradition as family meals themselves. While many of these makeshift games end with a proper celebration for one team, some are called early when an uncle throws his back out or a young cousin twists her ankle.

Don’t let your annual family football game end in injury. Here are a few ways you can avoid injury this year:

Training: You won’t see a professional athlete sitting on the couch for three months and hitting the field without proper training. Why would you do anything different? You certainly don’t have to train for months but if you know you will be playing in the annual family game, start getting your body ready a few weeks before.

Even walking around the neighborhood every day after dinner can help your body prepare for the physical demand of a football game.

Warm Up: It’s not unusual for the family to arrive, hit the backyard and start throwing the ball. This can be a bad idea. Most people warm up before exercise for good reason. Warm ups lubricate joints and increase flexibility to the muscles.

Take five or 10 minutes to warm up before the football game.

 

Know the Field: Many an injury has occurred because someone stepped down on a rock or got their foot stuck in an unnoticed hole. Take a walk around the section of yard you will be playing in before the first pass is thrown.

Toss or pick up any objects that could potentially be a trip and fall hazard.

Suit Up: Don’t wear tight, heavy clothing. Instead, opt for several light layers that you can both move easily in and remove should you get too hot. Encourage your family members to do the same.

While you are at it, make sure that you are wearing sneakers with a decent tread. Boots and flats are better suited for the indoors.

Stay On Your Feet: It’s not unusual for backyard football games to get a bit heated. Resist any urge you have to tackle another family member. Tackling increases the risk of injury, especially to younger players.

Drink in Celebration: Stick to drinking after the game. Alcohol not only decreases your balance and ability to make quick decisions, but it’s also dehydrating.

Drink plenty of water or sports drinks when you are playing the game instead.

Food Safety

When you’re preparing food, be sure it all reaches the right temperature before serving. Specifically, make sure your turkey gets to at least 165° F by checking the thickest part of the breast or thigh. A good rule of thumb is 15 minutes of cooking per pound, but always use a thermometer to check.

When you’re serving food, be sure the hot food stays hot, and the cold food stays cold. Otherwise, harmful bacteria may start growing, causing food poisoning among you and your guests.

Storing Leftovers

There are right ways and wrong ways to store your Thanksgiving leftovers.  Food should be in separate containers within two hours of serving. You may be tempted to store “meals” in sealed containers, but your foods will go bad at different speeds. Storing them together is a mistake unless you plan on reheating them within a few hours.

When putting food containers in the fridge, make sure that you don’t stack them too tightly. Your fridge needs to be able to circulate air. It can’t do that if it is filled wall to wall with plastic containers.

Speaking of your refrigerator, make sure that the temperature is correct. Your food needs to be kept under 40° F, so set your refrigerator’s temperature accordingly.

Your food is generally safe for up to four days, provided it has been stored properly. Thanksgiving is on a Thursday every year. Any food that isn’t eaten by Monday should be thrown away or frozen.

Eating Again

When you decide you want a bit more turkey, make sure you are heating it to the right temperature. It needs to be reheated to above 165 degrees. The same can be said for all of your leftovers unless they are meant to be cold. Soups and gravy should be brought to a boil.

If you have frozen any of your leftovers, don’t thaw them on the counter. Let them thaw in the refrigerator so they remain as cold as necessary before you decide to reheat them. Otherwise, bacteria may start to rapidly grow.

Frying a Turkey Outdoors

Deep frying a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner has become wildly popular in the past few years. However, it can be extremely dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing (and even if you do know what you’re doing). If you’re going to be deep-frying your turkey this year, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:

 

  • Set up the fryer on a flat clearing: Find a patch of grass (or preferably, dirt) that’s flat and has no trees or structures around it. NEVER deep fry a turkey on a deck or patio.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions: Your deep fryer should have come with instructions on how much oil to use, and how big of turkey to use. Always follow those directions for safe frying.
  • Wear protective clothing: You should have goggles to keep oil from splashing up in your face. You should also have long pants, a long sleeve shirt, a heavy duty apron and gloves on when you’re near the fryer.
  • Don’t leave the fryer unattended: Unless you want a fire, always stay near the deep fryer. You should also keep children and pets away. Make sure you always have a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Go oil-less: There are deep fryers available now that don’t require oil. These infrared fryers are much safer than traditional oil fryers.

 

Keep a Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer’s Number On Hand

Even if you follow every safety tip you can find, there’s still a chance you could get injured. If you get hurt by someone else’s actions or negligence, you have legal options. Call the Charlotte personal injury attorneys at Auger & Auger today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Let us help make sure your holiday season goes right. 1-855-969-5671

Disability Scholarship Award WinnerAuger & Auger is proud to announce that Miles Rucker is one of the recipients of our 2018 Fall Semester Disabled Scholar Award. During the fall and spring semesters scholarships are presented by Auger & Auger to students throughout America who have exceeded expectations and worked very hard to overcome their disabilities. Additionally, recipients of the Auger & Auger Disabled Scholar award have achieved excellence in and out of the classroom and they make positive impacts in their communities. Recipients of the award receive $1,000 to assist them with their educational expenses.

When Miles Rucker was a young boy, he was diagnosed with spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy. Spastic diplegia causes extreme tightness in the muscles and connective tissues. When he was just 7 years old, Miles had his first surgery to lengthen his heel cords to help him stop walking on his toes. When he was 16, he had surgery on his hamstrings and abductors to help him stop crouching his legs as he walked.

Miles has never let his walking disorder get him down. In fact, at a young age it taught him to never give up. Miles always knew he could do all the things that his peers could do. He also knew that he had to work harder than other young people that were not challenged by a disability like his. He knew it would be harder for him but he accepted it and worked very hard to overcome adversity. Miles is competitive and focused, and his drive has given him the ability to be successful in and out of the classroom.

As an avid golfer, Miles was named the captain of his high school’s golf team, a position he kept for two years. Miles claims that his disability has humbled him and given him an underdog mentality that challenges him to be competitive and consistently striving to be the best he can be. He also is grateful for his family and friends that have supported and motivated him to be the young adult that he is today.

Miles currently attends North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, NC. After graduation, he would like to start his own robotics company where he can create new technologies that focus on assisting people with disabilities and physical limitations. His goal is to help improve the quality of lives for people that are affected by their disabilities.  

Miles wants to give back to his community and help provide more opportunities for kids like himself to get involved with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (“STEM”). Miles believes those are the fields of the future and that careers in the “STEM” fields will be in high demand.

Miles says those who are facing challenges should never allow others to set their goals or discourage them from trying. “I allowed too many people who did not know what I was going through to tell me what I can and cannot do,” Miles says. “Accept help when needed but try to push yourself so you will be able to stand on your own when you can and want.”

DISCLAIMER: The listed settlements and client reviews/testimonials do not constitute a promise or guarantee of any particular result in any particular case, as every case is unique. Each case was handled on its own merit, and the outcome of any particular case cannot be predicted by a lawyers or law firms past results. If a recovery by settlement or trial is made, the client will be responsible for cost advanced in addition to attorney fees. Client remains responsible for costs, expenses and disbursements, including medical bills, within the scope of representation. The attorney’s contingency fee percentage will be computed prior to the deduction of expenses from the total recovery.