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Useful Safety Tips for Halloween Night
Halloween is a great holiday. It is exciting for young children and fun for parents. Children are supercharged with the allure of free candy and the sugar-high that goes with it. Parents get the satisfaction of seeing their little ones filled with joy. However, the personal injury attorneys at Scottsdale Injury Lawyers know that Halloween is a dangerous holiday with the potential for tragic consequences.
Halloween Car Accident Death Statistics
Every year, on Halloween night, children across Arizona are killed or injured by motor vehicles. The leading cause for this is distracted driving. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, “distracted driving involves any activity whereby or in which the driver’s eyes, hands or attention are diverted from the task of driving.”
In fact, a study released today and published by the NIH National Library of Medicine concluded that pedestrian deaths were 43% higher on Halloween. The study examined data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over a 42 year period to reach this conclusion. The study also found that the largest group at risk were children aged 4-8 years which showed a 10 times increase in risk of death on Halloween.
This study had a similar conclusion to a 20 year old study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A 1997 CDC study found that the number of young pedestrian deaths was four times higher on Halloween when compared to all other evenings of the year. This CDC study was also based on data obtained from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
On Halloween, children are stimulated and revved up. They are out with their friends in costumes. They are running, playing and joking around. Some of these children are too young to appreciate the dangers that automobiles pose. Older children, that do appreciate these dangers, may forget safety rules due to the excitement that Halloween brings.
Clearly, the focus of children is not safety or watching for danger. The focus for kids is getting as much candy as possible and taking in all the sights and sounds from the Halloween decorations and costumes. As a result, children may not look both ways before crossing a street or rush quickly into a street to greet a friend. Likewise, children may not be able to readily see dangers because their vision is limited or obstructed by their masks or costumes.
On Halloween, there are numerous distractions for drivers. Drivers may be looking at their cell phones to coordinate with others that they are trying to meet. They may be looking at navigation to locate new areas where they are heading for trick-or-treating. Drivers may be looking at holiday decorations on houses or the costumes of people walking on the streets. They may be dealing with multiple young children in their vehicles that are rowdy and require management.
In addition to all these distractions, there are other complicating factors that contribute to automobile versus pedestrian accidents in Arizona on Halloween night. Drivers may be unfamiliar with the neighborhoods they are driving in. These drivers are travelling to locations they have never been to before looking for parties or good neighborhoods for trick-or-treating. The presence of lots of young children is at night where there is reduced visibility. Many children are wearing dark costumes that make them hard to see.
The attorneys at Scottsdale Injury Lawyers recommend that you follow these safety suggestions to keep your children save from automobiles on Halloween night.
How You Can Avoid Child Injuries and Pedestrian Deaths on Halloween
The personal injury attorneys at Scottsdale Injury Lawyers recommend that you use the following safety tips to keep safe on Halloween:
- Trick-or-treat in big groups to increase visibility
- Wear bright colors and costumes with high visibility
- Trick-or-treat before dark when streets are less crowded and visibility is better
- Keep your children close at all times-if they are under the age of seven hold their hand whenever possible
- Do not consume alcohol if you are a parent responsible for keeping your children safe
- Incorporate safety reflectors or reflective strips into costumes
- Make your children carry or wear light emitting objects or illumination devices such as a glow sticks, led flashing toys or flash lights
- Trick-or-treat in gated communities with limited pass-through traffic
- Trick-or-treat in streets that are closed to vehicle traffic on Halloween night
- Attend church events, galas, organized community celebrations or parties, where children can enjoy Halloween but not necessarily be subject to trick-or-treating where vehicle traffic is a concern
- Talk to your children before trick-or-treating to reinforce safety rules
- Warn your children to be on “high alert” and be on “high alert” yourself
How Drivers Can Avoid Car Accidents and Pedestrian Deaths on Halloween
The personal injury attorneys at Scottsdale Injury Lawyers suggest that drivers do the following to prevent child injuries and pedestrian accidents on Halloween:
- Pay attention to the road at all times
- Do not use your cell phone to text or talk while driving
- Do not use your navigation while driving-if you need to look at a map, stop and pull over or have someone else in the car navigate so you can keep your eyes on the road at all times
- Scan sidewalks, shoulders and the sides of roads for trick-or-treaters, children and pedestrians
- Drive defensively and expect children to enter the roadway without warning
- Drive slow in areas with large numbers of trick-or-treaters or other pedestrian traffic
- Do not turn around or look back to manage children in your vehicle—if you need to do so, pull over and stop
- Be aware of the surroundings on all four sides of your vehicle—use the rear and side view mirrors more than normal
- Be on “high alert” and expect dangerous situations to arise
Following these safety recommendations will help keep Halloween the fun and festive holiday it was intended to be. It will help prevent child injuries, car accidents and injuries in Scottsdale and Phoenix that may result from someone being hit by a car. Please share these tips with your friends and loved ones who will be out and about on Halloween night.