Fewer superheroes, celebrities and ghosts may be prowling neighborhoods during trick or treat this year. But costumed children strolling on streets or crossing parking lots and inattentive drivers make Halloween one of the deadliest days of the year for pedestrians.
The risk of a pedestrian death is 43 percent greater on Halloween, according to a study of 42 years of data published in the Journal of American Medical Association. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined, from its latest data, that there were 6,205 pedestrian fatalities from traffic accidents in 2019.
Halloween night is a combination of personal injury risks such as a higher volume of pedestrian traffic, especially children, and numerous distractions. Driving at night on Halloween is a substantial danger because almost half of all driving fatalities take place in the dark or at dawn or dusk, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety and driving at night is three times as dangerous as daytime driving.
Drunk driving accidents also increase on Halloween. Forty-one percent of all people killed in vehicle accidents from 2014 to 2018 were in accidents involving drunk driving, according to NHTSA reports.
- Assume trick-or-treaters are around and drive slowly in and around residential neighborhoods and streets.
- Do not drink and drive.
- Do not use a personal electronic device or cell phone while driving.
- Yield to pedestrians, assume there are more children than you see and watch for children who may run out to the street.
- Try to park where you do not have to back up. Have an adult make sure there are no children nearby if you do back up.
- Make sure that children are properly buckled or, if appropriate, in a car seat each time they enter a car if you are driving them around for trick-or-treating.
- Buy or make costumes without padding or hard surfaces so children may buckle in their seat belt or car seat properly. Or have them change when they reach their destination.
- Pull your vehicle over at safe locations so that children may exist at the curb and away from traffic and turn on your hazard lights.
- Parents should accompany children under 12.
- Child should not run and should stay on sidewalks instead of walking between cars or lawns.
- Pedestrians should not assume drivers will yield to them.
- Trick-or-treat before it is really dark.
- Children should wear costumes that are lighter in color which may even have reflective material in the front or back.
- Children should not wear costumes or masks that block their vision.
- Children should not use their PEDs unless they are taking photographs on a porch.
Attorneys can assist pedestrians with seeking compensation. They can represent their rights in negotiation and court.