Thanksgiving is the ultimate celebration of comfort food, football games, and joyful reunions among families and friends. With so much to look forward to this holiday season, safety and caution can often fall to the waist side, allowing for unnecessary hazards to ruin cheerful traditions.

Though the blessed day of Christmas has gained the #1 spot for the deadliest holiday of the year, these popular Thanksgiving hazards should not be taken lightly:

Vehicle Accidents

Increased travelers on the road and turkey dinner deadlines have drivers more than a little distracted around this time of year. Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend alone, the National Safety Council predicts about 418 accident fatalities and 44,700 sustained injuries from congested roads. Drivers under the influence when operating their vehicles are also a significant cause of the rise in accidents this time of year. Making sure you have a designated driver and always practice defensive driving is essential to staying safe under these conditions.

Burning Disasters

Most of us have heard the stories about the exploding deep-fried Thanksgiving turkeys. Unfortunately, these are no joke! Statistics released by the  U.S. Fire Administration show over 4,000 fires are reported on Thanksgiving alone, causing well over $15-million in home damages. Deep frying turkey accidents are certainly high up on the list, but other fires from unsupervised ovens and crowded stove tops are certainly culprits as well. Keep an eye on the kitchen this holiday and NEVER fry a turkey frozen.

Harmful Pet Scraps

What’s the harm in giving your dog a leftover turkey leg- possibly his life. Pet deaths and injuries on Thanksgiving increase due to the availability of extra table scraps that can cause harm to pets. Hazards such as hidden sharp turkey bones and unsafe food items can be extremely harmful to their digestive systems. Dishes that contain ingredients such as garlic, leeks, onions, and grapes are known to cause damage to red blood cells and kidneys in dogs. Sticking to their daily diet is much safer than risking a treat of table food at dinner.

Increased Heart Troubles

It’s easy to get carried away with celebratory foods and drinks during Thanksgiving. But for older or overweight individuals, getting out of control with comfort foods can result in severe consequences. A sudden increase in overindulgence to the digestive system can cause stress on your heart, leading to regular heart-beats nicknamed ‘Holiday Heart Syndrome’ back in 1978. A study out of University of California also showed a 15% spike in heart attacks in men compared to a 27% increase for women on this holiday.

Contaminated Foods

Turkeys are not the easiest birds to cook, especially ones of massive size. With limited times to prepare Thanksgiving dinner, it’s not uncommon for few of these main dishes to be served a bit undercooked. Consuming undercooked poultry is extremely dangerous, resulting in the risk of contracting salmonella. Turkey timers included with the supermarket birds are not always trustworthy, so making sure to check the turkey with an internal thermometer will help prevent your dinner guests from leaving with a stomach ache. It’s also advised to store any leftovers within a minimum of two hours before they should be tossed to avoid eating food poisoning bacteria.

Like any another holiday, Thanksgiving can be slightly stressful. But it doesn’t have to be dangerous! Keeping these factors in mind when planning for you holiday will help keep you and your family safe this Thanksgiving and ready to enjoy the festivities ahead.

If you or a loved one have sustained an injury due to the negligence of others, contact our winning team at Siler & Ingber for your free consultation. Call today at 1-877-718-6079.