Halloween is an enjoyable holiday, but every year, there are many accidents. Many people are hurt in car accidents and slip and fall accidents. Tripping and falling may seem minor, but some victims can have serious injuries. It is important to review the most common safety threats people face on Halloween in order to prevent future accidents from happening.
Every Halloween, there are significant car and pedestrian accidents. Children under 15 years old are at risk of being involved in a car accident between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., which is the prime timeframe for trick-or-treating. A significant percentage of those accidents occur in areas other than crosswalks or intersections, as excited children dart out into the streets without regard for the dangers that are present.
Drivers may not be used to the volume of activity, especially in usually quiet residential areas. Motorists should take special precautions to account for trick-or-treaters who are often dressed in dark, hard-to-see costumes. Any day of the year, drivers need to be cautious, but on Halloween, patience and attentiveness can make a big difference.
All motorists should remember to do the following:
Drive Cautiously: Since people are out in greater numbers than most other evenings, Halloween presents more opportunities for car accidents involving pedestrians. Drivers should take care to observe stop signs and traffic lights. It is important to always yield to pedestrians, especially young ones. Driveways can be just as dangerous as roadways if drivers are not paying attention. A car backing up out of a garage or driveway can be particularly dangerous for people using the adjacent sidewalk.
Maintain a Safe Speed: Drivers should not only refrain from speeding, but they should also take special measures on Halloween to reduce speeds significantly when surrounded by children. It can be tempting to speed through a neighborhood, but this should always be avoided. When trick-or-treaters are in sight, drivers must account for the possibility that children could enter the roads.
Avoid Distracted Driving: Drivers must keep their eyes and focus on the roads. Using a cellphone or adjusting a navigational device or radio can divert a driver’s attention at a critical moment. It is best to avoid all distractions, especially during busy holidays like Halloween.
Be Mindful at Drop-Offs: Drivers should be careful when dropping off passengers or trick-or-treaters. It is important that motorists use hazard lights to alert other drivers and pedestrians. They should also instruct passengers to exit the vehicle from the curbside doors. A motorist passing by a drop-off area should remember that children may emerge from cars. They should be proceed with appropriate caution and be prepared to stop.
Do Not Drink and Drive: Costume parties and fall festivals often involve alcohol. A person who expects to have a few drinks should have a plan that eliminates the temptation to drive drunk. A person should arrange for a designated driver or rideshare service ahead of time.
Dress for Safety: No one should ever drive wearing a Halloween mask, costume wig, or other Halloween accessories that restrict the view of the road. If a driver’s peripheral vision is obstructed in any way, an accident could result.
Wear a Seat Belt: An elaborate costume may prevent a driver or passenger from using a seat belt properly. It is best to get into costume at the destination rather than to compromise safety. Likewise, a Halloween costume should never interfere with a child’s car seat. Drivers and passengers should always wear seat belts.
Besides the road hazards and car safety issues on Halloween, people are at risk from other dangers related to holiday traditions. Masks and ill-fitting costumes may make falls more likely. A few safety adjustments to costumes can make Halloween safer.
The best way to ensure that trick-or-treaters stay safe is to make sure they are supervised by responsible adults. Older children should be reminded how to cross streets safely by looking both ways before walking.
Whether one has a costume or not, they should always make sure they are visible when walking. Young children and their accompanying adults should use flashlights or glow sticks to help them see and be seen. Reflective tape can be applied to costumes, which can be most useful on dark materials. Visibility can also be obstructed by masks or wigs that restrict vision.
Additionally, costumes and accessories should be made of fire-resistant materials. Costume makeup should be non-toxic.
Whether someone is hurt by a drunk or distracted driver or a negligent property owner, an injured victim may be able to collect compensation in a personal injury claim. After an accident, a victim should speak to a lawyer about their legal options.
If you become injured in a Halloween accident, one of our Pittsburgh personal injury lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. will be able to help you. A dedicated lawyer can help prove your case so you can recover compensation to pay for any medical bills or other losses associated with the accident. Contact us online or call us at 412-765-1888 for a free consultation. Located in Pittsburgh, we serve clients throughout western Pennsylvania, including Allegheny County, Lawrence County, and Washington County.