Thanksgiving 2021 may be a lot different than what we experienced in the past. Due to the pandemic, many families are choosing to stay home and organize virtual gatherings with their relatives. However, it doesn’t mean that Thanksgiving accidents would be completely eradicated. There are millions of people still traveling, and with inexperienced cooks attempting to fry a turkey for the first time, this Thanksgiving carries all the risks usually associated with the holiday.

thanksgiving safety tips

Let’s go over the common injuries and accidents during Thanksgiving so you can actively avoid trouble that would ruin your holiday:

Car Accidents

If you think that the deadliest holiday for car accidents is St. Patrick’s Day or even New Year’s Eve, then you’re wrong. Thanksgiving is in fact, the deadliest, and here’s why. During Thanksgiving, there is increased congestion on the road because many are traveling at the same time. Even with the COVID-19 crisis, 56% of Americans are still planning on traveling, and most of them prefer land travel over air travel which means more traffic.

The best way to avoid road accidents this Thanksgiving is to not travel at all. Also, the risk of getting COVID-19 is another valid reason to forego traveling. However, if you still choose to travel this year, then do it safely. Avoid high traffic times as much as possible. If you’ve been drinking, then just don’t drive.

Burns and Fire-Related Injuries

It comes as no surprise that cooking-related accidents and burn injuries are more likely to happen during Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year. Fire is on top of the list. Turkey fryers are considered to be the cause of cooking fires on Thanksgiving and lead to $15 million in property damage every year.

Aside from turkey fryers, ovens and other appliances make your kitchen a hazardous place during Thanksgiving. Additionally, unattended kitchen equipment contributes to cooking fires any day of the year. So, if you’re an amateur cook, then read all the instructions for any new kitchen equipment you’re using. As for preventing burns, make sure to use oven mitts and other protective gear. While cooking, you shouldn’t get distracted. You can politely ask your guests to socialize elsewhere so you can focus on cooking.

Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is another food-related accident that often occurs on Thanksgiving. Everybody is so busy socializing and eating that sometimes they forget to check if the food is still safe to eat. Remember, food that’s been exposed for quite a while produces bacteria making it unsuitable for eating.

To prevent food spoilage, don’t leave food on your dinner table or counters for a long period of time. Reheating food won’t kill the bacteria so if it’s been sitting there for a while then it’s best not to serve it.

If you’re planning to cook at home, then follow the USDA’s food safety guidelines. Be aware of all the ingredients you’re using and make certain that the food is properly cooked. Also, be sure to store the food properly and reheat it at the appropriate temperature.

The key to enjoying a safe and festive Thanksgiving Day is proper planning and a little patience. Without accidents and injuries, you can enjoy this wonderful holiday more while you’re in West Virginia or wherever you may be. However, should you experience an accident/ personal injury and require legal assistance, then do give us a call so we can help you.


Jeff Robinette professional headshot - West Virginia personal injury attorney
( West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney )

Jeffery Robinette was admitted to practice law in 1991 and is licensed in all levels of state and federal trial courts in West Virginia. Mr. Robinette is also licensed in all state and federal appeals courts in West Virginia and the United States Supreme Court. As a National Board Certified Trial Attorney who has handled hundreds of motor vehicle, injury, and construction defect claims and a leading author on insurance claims settlement issues and difficulties in West Virginia, Jeff Robinette is uniquely qualified to represent your best interest.