The holidays are undoubtedly an exciting time of year, generally filled with parties, friends and family, fun, and celebration. As the long awaited night of Halloween soon approaches, many adults will attend their favorite costume parties while children walk their neighborhoods “trick-or-treating” for candy. What many people fail to think about, however, is that Halloween night will also consist of more drivers on the road, an increased chance of drunk driving collisions, more pedestrians out on sidewalks, and hundreds of little children sprinting into the roadways. Our law firm wants this year’s Halloween to be enjoyable for you and your family, but we also want everyone to be safe.
According to a study from Safe Kids USA, children are more than twice as likely to be killed by a car or a truck while walking on Halloween than any other night of the year. Though these accidents are not extremely large in number each year, traffic accidents are by far the most common and potentially deadly type of accident threatening adults and children this and every Halloween. Between 2002 and 2006, 2.2 children on average were killed in pedestrian accidents from 4 to10pm on Halloween, compared to one child every other evening at the same time. A release from Wafb.com states that last year, children and teenagers trick-or-treating or heading to Halloween parties were injured or killed in cities in Utah, Nevada, New Jersey, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. Thankfully, Illinois did not make this list, and our attorneys would like to keep it that way. Here are some tips that you and your family can use to remain safe this Halloween.
Primarily, parents need to keep close watch on their children by either taking younger children trick-or-treating themselves, staying in contact with teens through their cell phones, or at least making sure their children have some type of supervision. Encourage your children to wear bright and reflective Halloween costumes; you want to make sure drivers can see them as they are crossing the street. Carrying flashlights, glow-sticks, or reflective tape are great ideas for increasing visibility. Staying in well-lit areas is also recommended. Children should only walk near streets with streetlights and on the sidewalk, refraining from cutting across dark yards or back alleys. Walking in groups a good way to increase the general safety of children in addition to the fact that a big group of trick-or treaters is also easier for drivers to see.
It is also important for drivers to be safe on Halloween. Be aware of children who are going to be out walking and possibly running into the streets without looking before crossing. Most cases of pedestrian accidents on Halloween involved parents and children being hit while crossing streets or walking along roads. Make sure to drive at a reasonable speed and with your lights on. Be more attentive than usual when backing up, turning, or using alleys. And finally, never drink and drive, especially on Halloween. This not only puts young children at risk, but it increases your risk of injury occurring as well.
More than 540 kids under age 14 are killed in pedestrian accidents each year, Safe Kids reports. Sadly, Halloween night puts children at a much higher risk of injury or death than any other night of the year because it is dark when children trick-or-treat, adults may not be present, and children are walking the sidewalks and crossing busy roadways in a hurry. Parents, children, and all motorists are advised to use the above tips to help everyone remain safe on Halloween while still having a fun night.
When individuals do suffer serious injuries as the result of negligent motorists, they have the right to take action. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti understand that pedestrian accidents can result in personal injury and life altering consequences. If you or your child is injured in an accident due to a careless driver this holiday season, please contact our law firm to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.