Avoid Halloween Disasters
With little ghouls and goblins out on Halloween night, the specter of driving incidents that put our littlest family members at risk becomes a huge concern. Unfortunately, the incidents of driving while fatigued and driving after drinking generally rise for the holiday, and this, combined with the increase of pedestrians out during twilight and dark hours increases the risk for disaster.
With Halloween falling on a Sunday, festivities will likely occur all weekend long, expanding the possibilities for accidents. AAA informs us that kids are at more than double the risk of being hit by a motor vehicle on and around Halloween than on any other day of the year according to research by Safe Kids Worldwide. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that the holiday is one of the top three days of the year involving pedestrian accidents every single year. One reason may be that more adults enjoy parties for Halloween, which often includes alcohol consumption. In 2017, alcohol was a factor in 25 percent of child-pedestrian fatalities between October 28 and 31. On Halloween night that year, there were 89 deaths across the country due to traffic incidents, and more than one in ten involved alcohol. Without question, avoiding Halloween accidents is something everyone should want to avoid.
When drivers get behind the wheel, it’s more important than ever to be focused and alert. Put down your phone, your burger, and so forth, and minimize distractions. Take it a little slower, especially in residential areas. Scan the area, including porches, driveways, and sidewalks, because you never know when a child might dart out to get to the next house for a treat. Always yield to pedestrians. Keep headlights on, and make sure you’re not impaired or too tired to give the road 100 percent of your attention. If you do drink, arrange for safe transportation.
Help kids stay safe by reminding them of safety rules. Make sure they’re visible by using reflective tape and having kids carry flashlights or glowsticks. Make sure masks don’t impair their ability to see and be sure props don’t interfere with mobility. For kids under 12, it’s important to have parental supervision during trick-or-treating. Try to stick to areas you know, or those that have paved sidewalks.
Stick to sidewalks, or, if there are none, walk as close to the side of the road as possible facing oncoming traffic. Use your eyes and ears to be aware of moving vehicles. Particularly around driveways and intersections. Cross streets at the corner in crosswalks when available. Have an adult with you, or, for older trick-or-treaters, make sure parents know your route. Keep a phone handy in case of emergency (but never use it while walking in the street). Choose costumes that increase your visibility or wear reflective tape and lights. And remember, you’re safer in a group than solo.
After an Accident
While everyone hopes this Halloween is a safe one, the fact of the matter is we know we can expect some accidents. If your child is the victim of a careless or reckless driver, getting the legal help you need quickly is important. At The Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes, our Baltimore pedestrian accident attorneys can provide guidance as we pursue damages to address medical bills and more. Contact our office for a confidential consultation today.