Halloween is a great holiday for creative expression and family bonding, but it also is one of the worst days of the year for car accidents. According to a study in the Journal of Pediatrics published by the American Medical Association (JAMA Pediatrics), pedestrian death increase by 43% on Halloween. Kids and teens were particularly at-risk. Why are car accidents more likely to happen on Halloween and how can we lower risk?
Young drivers are most likely to cause accidents on Halloween and a contributing factor is drunk driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 42% of car crash deaths on Halloween involved a drunk driver. Alcohol in any amount increases the risk of car crashes. Even if you feel you are only buzzed, you are increasing the chances of a terrible accident.
The way to combat this is to have a sober driving plan. When you go to a party with alcohol, designate a sober driver or use a rideshare service. Have a plan for transportation to and from any parties you plan to attend.
Trick-or-treating is one of the most common ways that children celebrate Halloween. Residential areas that normally see little foot traffic can be flooded with pedestrians and it may be an adjustment for drivers. When backing out of driveways, drivers, used to their routine, may not realize they have to be on the lookout for child pedestrians.
On Halloween, driving conditions are different than normal. Drive slower than you normally would, don’t blast loud music and pull over if you need to find directions or text someone. Little steps like this make the road safer for you and the trick-or-treaters.
Parents can take steps to ensure child safety but often don’t. Lost or unsupervised children may not know when to walk across the street, for example.
While parents cannot control the actions of drivers, they can help make their child safer when trick-or-treating. Make sure you have a planned route and enough adult supervision to ensure no child walks off on their own. Black is the most common color for costumes and can make children darting into the street hard to see. Consider incorporating reflective tape into the skeleton costume, or candy bag, to increase visibility at night.
If you are ever involved in a car crash, reach out to our Houston area lawyers for a free case review. Give us a call at (888) 273-1045.
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