Black Friday: Great Deals, Huge Hazards!

It’s undeniable that Black Friday offers some great deals. Early-rising shoppers can snag TVs and other electronics, toys and presents for the holiday season, and anything else they may need or want, all at extremely marked-down prices.

The history of Black Friday

Black Friday seems like a time-honored tradition, but it has actually only been around since the 1960s. The term “Black Friday” is in reference to store bookkeeper records moving from “the red,” meaning losing profits, to “the black,” meaning making profits. On the day after Thanksgiving, stores realized that there was a huge potential for profit, and the tradition of wild shopping began. Since then, it has become common for stores to open very early in the morning. People often line up outside hours in advance. It has also become a dreaded day for anyone who works in retail!

Black Friday injuries

Black Friday brings a lot of passion and excitement to big stores like Target, Walmart, and Best Buy. However, it can also bring violence and chaos.

  • In 2008 in Valley Stream, New York, shoppers waiting outside a Walmart trampled a store employee to death when the store opened its door and the shoppers surged inside. Some of the shoppers had been waiting outside since the night before. In 2010, an employee was killed at a Target in Buffalo, New York, in a similar fashion to the death in 2008.
  • A 2005 stampede at a Grand Rapids, Michigan Walmart injured several people.
  • A shooting took place at a Southern California Toys-R-Us in 2011, killing two people. The shooter likely chose a store on Black Friday because they knew it would be filled with people. A similar incident occurred in Tallahassee, Florida, in 2012.

There have also been numerous reports of fights across the country during Black Friday sales. Patrons have tackled each other to the ground, gotten into physical altercations, or pepper sprayed each other in order to get to the deals first. Injuries have also been the result of parking lot car accidents. Between 2006 and 2014, the total fatality count for Black Friday was seven deaths, along with 98 injuries. For a day that is focused on holiday shopping, it’s surprising that things have gotten so violent. However, people can get greedy and confrontational when it comes to great deals, and unfortunately, serious injuries are the result of their actions.

Worth the risk?

If you are planning to go out for Black Friday shopping, be safe! Even an incredibly cheap TV isn’t worth an injury to yourself or other around you. Dress warmly in preparation for waiting in line outside. Be sure to follow any Black Friday rules the store may have in place. And of course, remember that online shopping is always a safer, less stressful alternative!


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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