Car Accidents and Halloween – Watch Out for Ghosts & Goblins
Over 41 million American children take to the streets each Halloween in a quest to fill plastic pumpkins with as much candy as possible while showcasing their adorable and sometimes scary costume choices. While parents worry about things like tainted candy and other dangers, the most serious hazard comes from people behind the wheel of a car or truck.
According to data compiled by Safe Kids Worldwide, children are twice as likely to die in a pedestrian-related car crash on Halloween than on any other day of the year. No one wants you and your children to miss the Halloween festivities, and you may have someplace to be that requires you to get in your vehicle on this busy night. Fortunately, there are steps you can take both as a parent and a driver to avoid car accidents on Halloween.
Halloween Accident Statistics
The National Safety Council reports that October was the second most deadly month for car accidents in 2017, following July. Most fatal collisions involving pedestrians under 15 years old occur between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Roughly 84% of young pedestrians who lose their lives were involved in accidents that were not at an intersection.
Drunk driving is also an increased risk on Halloween. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 48% of crash fatalities on this night involve impaired driving. By comparison, the rate is 31% on other nights of the year on average.
Halloween Safety Tips for Parents
There is plenty that a parent can do to keep their children safe on this festive night. Some Halloween safety tips include:
- Lack of visibility from black costumes is a leading cause of pedestrian accidents. Put reflective tape on children’s costumes to give them more visibility. Also, give them glowsticks and flashlights so that they can see and be seen by others.
- Avoid using masks if possible. Masks limit a child’s visibility, so they may not see a vehicle in their path. Use makeup instead. If a mask is a necessity, have children remove them before crossing the street.
- Have children cross the street only at designated intersections. They should also look both ways (left, right, and left again) before stepping into the roadway.
- Whenever possible, accompany children when they go trick or treating to ensure their safety.
Halloween Safety Tips for Drivers
As a driver, the last thing you want is to accidentally injure a tiny ghost or goblin that is enjoying one of their favorite holidays of the year. Unfortunately, there are not only more children and parents walking on the streets, but also more drivers on the road because of holiday parties – many involving alcohol. Some of the tips that can keep you accident-free this Halloween include:
- Don’t use your cell phone, or do anything else distracting, while you drive.
- Remain within the speed limit and even slow down a bit with all the children on the road.
- Pay extra attention in neighborhoods. Be alert for children darting into the road, particularly between parked cars.
- Never assume that children see you or know the rules of the road. Be proactive.
- Check that all of your vehicle’s lights work and even take a few moments to clean your windshield for better visibility.
- Avoid passing other vehicles that are stopped in the roadway. They may either be stopped for crossing children or dropping off a group.
- If you are driving a group of children and need to stop to let them out, choose an appropriate place and use your hazard lights to let other motorists know your intentions.
- If you are going to a Halloween party where alcohol is being served, either get a designated driver or don’t drink and drive.
Involved in an Accident on Halloween?
If you or a loved one was involved in an accident on Halloween (or any other day of the year for that matter), the results could be serious. Since most crashes on Halloween involve pedestrians, the injuries sustained can be severe and life-changing. Whether you were the driver, a pedestrian, or the parent of a child who has been injured, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Buck, Toscano & Tereskerz want to speak to you about your situation.
Contact our Charlottesville office now at 434.977.7977 to schedule your free consultation.