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 for candy. Our personal injury 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 Chicago Sun Times 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 so drivers can see them as they are crossing the street. Carrying flashlights, glow-sticks, or reflective tape are great ideas for increasing visibility; walking in well-lit areas is also recommended. Finally, 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 prepared for children who may be walking or sprinting into the streets without looking before crossing. Make sure to drive at a reasonable speed and with your lights on, and be especially attentive when backing up, turning, or using alleys. Lastly, 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 walk on sidewalks and cross busy roadways in a hurry. Parents, children, and all motorists are advised to use the above tips to help both drivers and trick-or-treaters have a fun and safe Halloween. If you or a loved one is involved in an accident caused by a negligent driver, please contact us to learn about what compensation may be available to you.