As kids prepare for trick or treating fun, many parents are aware of the risks like taking candy from strangers. Often overlooked, however, are the risks of traffic accidents. Halloween is a time when both pedestrian fatalities and DUI accidents spike. Parents and motorists alike can help keep the festivities safe by following a few Halloween tips.
Halloween pedestrian accident risks
Halloween has all the makings for a pedestrian accident – throngs of (often unaccompanied) children lingering near driveways or rushing across streets, in the dark, wearing masks that obstruct their vision. It is not surprising, then, that the likelihood of a pedestrian being struck by a car is more than twice as high on Halloween compared to other evenings throughout the year.
Parents can help protect their children by not letting them trick-or-treat alone; putting reflective tape on costumes and treat bags to increase your child’s visibility; teaching your children not to cross mid-road but instead cross at a corner or cross-walk; watching for cars moving near driveways; and making eye contact with drivers to be sure they are aware of the child’s presence.
Drivers should avoid going out during trick or treat hours if possible. Also, be on the lookout kids crossing in the middle of the road, running across driveways. Stay alert and minimize distractions.
Halloween DUI risk
Halloween is not just for kids; plenty of adults take part in the fun, and their celebration often involves alcohol. Federal statistics show that a significant number of motor vehicle accidents on Halloween involve drinking and driving. For example, in 2014, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data showed that more than 1/3 of traffic accidents on Halloween involved driving under the influence. In 2015, the number was even higher, at 46% of crashes involving DUI.
California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles police routinely set up sobriety checkpoints at times of the year when they expect an increase in drinking and driving. Therefore, expect that this Halloween, the LAPD and CHIP will set up DUI roadblocks to catch drunk drivers as they have in past years. A DUI can impact your life, even if you do not cause harm to a child or another adult.
If you will be attending an adult Halloween gathering, be aware of how much you are drinking. If you do imbibe, absolutely do not get behind the wheel – there is no such thing as “buzzed driving; it is still drunk driving. If your children will be trick or treating, do not let them go alone. Be on the lookout for erratic vehicles, and be cautious in and around driveways.
Speak with a personal injury lawyer in Southern California
Halloween can and should be a safe time for kids and adults alike. However, if you are involved in an accident, speak with experienced Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer Sean Salamati, who has built his reputation on his commitment to helping accident victims pursue justice. Call today for a free consultation. Remember, we never charge a fee unless we win money on your behalf.
Additional Halloween traffic safety resources:
- National Safety Council, Halloween Safety On and Off the Road, https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/autumn/halloween
- Madd, Surprising Stats Regarding the Dangers of Drunk Driving at Halloween, https://www.madd.org/tennessee/surprising-stats-regarding-the-dangers-of-drunk-driving-at-halloween/