Updated Oct. 2021
Halloween is one of the most exciting holidays of the year and is loved by children and adults alike. Even with the thrill of dressing up, the candy, and the scary pranks, it is important to be aware of the dangers of Halloween.
With ghosts, ghouls, and witches roaming the streets, it may seem ironic that the biggest danger on Halloween is the car. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that fatal crashes involving a drunk driver are three times more likely to happen on Halloween than New Year’s Eve.
Halloween has the second highest rate of pedestrian deaths each year, just after January 1st, according to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis. The average rate of pedestrian fatalities doubles on Halloween. This is because of a combination of people drinking for the holiday and a huge increase of pedestrians on the roads. What makes this frightening statistic even worse, is that a large portion of these pedestrians are children. The largest age group for pedestrian fatalities on Halloween is children ages 12 to 15 followed by children ages 5 to 8. It is important to note that 70% of these accidents occur away from a crosswalk or intersection.
After a year of stifled holidays, many people are looking forward to going big this Halloween. Even in normal years, a Halloween that falls on a Sunday is more dangerous than when the holiday occurs during the week. Added partying and more children who are new to trick-or-treating walking from door to door can be a recipe for disaster.
Here are some tips to help keep your children safe from cars this Halloween.
Tips for Drivers to Keep Pedestrians Safe on Halloween
Slow down and be alert. Drive slowly in areas where pedestrians are likely to be, especially when it is dark or sight may be limited. Children are often hard to see and can be unpredictable.
Keep your windshield clean. A dirty windshield can make it harder to see at night no matter the time of year. It can be especially dangerous when falling leaves and dusty or rainy windshields obscure details when children are out trick-or-treating.
Report drunk drivers. Call 911 immediately if you see a vehicle that is driving erratically. Additionally, it is important to monitor Halloween party guests, and do not let them drive if they have been drinking.
Tips for Children to Stay Safe on Halloween
Wear bright costumes. Don’t let your children dress in all black or dark colors. Bright costumes will help them stand out to drivers.
Carry a flashlight. While putting reflective tape on your children’s costumes and bags is helpful to make them visible to cars, the light from a flashlight or a strobe light is more likely to catch a motorist’s attention. Trick-or-treaters should also make sure to carry their flashlight on the side of their body closest to the road.
Go slow. Make sure your children take their time going from house to house instead of running in between them.
Use sidewalks. The safest place for any pedestrian is on the sidewalk. If for some reason there is no sidewalk, remember to walk against traffic in order to see oncoming vehicles, and walk as far to the side of the road as possible in order to quickly get out of the way of any vehicles.
Use designated crosswalks. Make sure your child crosses the street at designated crosswalks and intersections. Jaywalking is a huge problem on Halloween and one of the many reasons children age 12-15 are the largest age group for pedestrian deaths on Halloween.
Look both ways before crossing the street. As mentioned before, there are a lot of drunk drivers who may be speeding or driving recklessly on Halloween. Make sure that no cars are coming by having your child look both ways before crossing the street.
Know your trick-or-treating route. Have a plan for trick-or-treating, and stick to it. Make sure your child knows the area if they are going with friends and have a backup plan in case they get separated from their group. It’s also important that your child knows your phone number and/or has it written down on their hand or a piece of paper in case their phone dies.
Travel in large groups. Drivers are much more likely to see a large group of people than a single person crossing the street.
Put cell phones away. Make sure your children know the dangers of walking while looking at their phone. Encourage them to always be aware of their surroundings, and to not text and walk.
We Help Victims.
If you or your child is a victim of a pedestrian car accident, the auto accident attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner can help. We are experts at representing pedestrians who have been injured in car accidents. Car accidents can be complicated. We know your rights and the laws. We are experts at negotiating with powerful insurance companies that want to take advantage of you. Our experience matters.
Alleviate your stress by leaving the legal matters with us. You focus on recovering from your injuries, and we will focus on recovering your compensation for you.
If you or a loved one is injured or a victim of the negligence of others, please call my office at 312-346-8465 or contact us using the form below.