The costumes, candy, and haunted hayrides are just a few of the reasons why children and adults look forward to Halloween. However, whether you are trick-or-treating with your children, enjoying a workplace Halloween party with your colleagues, or you need to make a last-minute run to the grocery store if you ran out of candy, Halloween is one of the most dangerous nights when it comes to car accidents.
Every year, approximately 41 million children don their costumes and hit the pavement in search of Halloween treats, but trick-or-treaters are at risk and should practice safety precautions. Over half of all car accidents that occur on Halloween involve motorists who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to statistics from opens in a new windowProtect America. Shockingly, children are twice as likely to be fatally injured in a car accident on Halloween than any other night of the year.
You should always obey the speed limit and follow the rules of the road. However, on Halloween, you are strongly urged to use extra caution since there are so many children and other pedestrians out and about. You can reduce the risk of a car accident by keeping the following Halloween safety tips in mind when you are driving.
Use Extra Caution
There are many more people out and about on Halloween, including excited children who may dart across the street without looking. Pay close attention to your surroundings, including at intersections and as you approach driveways, parking lots, or alleys. If you are backing out of your driveway, go very slowly, and make sure there are no children, other pedestrians, bicyclists, or other motorists crossing your path.
Obey the Speed Limit
While you are always expected to follow the posted speed limit, this is particularly important if you are driving through a residential area on Halloween. Trick-or-treaters do not always look both ways before darting across the street to get candy.
Texting, talking on the phone, and other behaviors that distract your attention away from the road is one of the top causes of car accidents. If you are reading a text message, making a phone call, or reaching for something in the back seat, a small child could run across the street, and the consequences could be deadly. Put the phone away, and keep your attention focused on the road ahead.
Be Careful at Drop-Off Areas
If you are dropping your child off at a friend’s, use your signal to alert other motorists that you are going to be stopping, and turn your hazard lights on if you are going to be parked for more than a few minutes. Make sure that the passengers exit the vehicle from the curb side, rather than getting out on the side of oncoming traffic. If you are passing a vehicle that is dropping off passengers, slow down, and get ready to stop in case children start to cross the street or exit the vehicle on the street side.
Do Not Drink and Drive
Children are not the only ones who enjoy Halloween festivities. Adults may consume alcohol at a Halloween party. Getting behind the wheel of a car after having too many alcoholic drinks can have devastating consequences, and the stakes are particularly high on Halloween when there are more motorists on the roads and pedestrians crossing the street. If you plan to drink, either pick a designated driver or arrange for a ride home with a rideshare service, such as Uber or Lyft.
Always Wear a Seat Belt
Even if you take all of the necessary precautions when driving on Halloween, you could still be involved in a car accident if another motorist is distracted, drowsy, speeding, or drunk. Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent or reduce the severity of injuries. Backseat passengers should also buckle up because they can suffer serious injuries in a car accident if they are not safely secured by a seat belt.
What can Pedestrians Do to Stay Safe on Halloween?
While motorists bear most of the responsibility to use extra caution when driving on Halloween, trick-or-treaters and other pedestrians can be proactive about safety as well. Children and adults should keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Young children should be supervised by an adult. A parent or guardian should walk with the child, make sure that they do not wander away or get too far ahead, and remind them not to run out into the street without checking to see if there is a car coming.
- Stay on the sidewalks when trick-or-treating. Do not walk in the streets where cars are driving. If there is no sidewalk, stay as far away from traffic as possible, and walk on the side of the road that is facing traffic. That way, you will be able to see cars coming, and oncoming motorists are more likely to see you.
- Obey the traffic laws. Like motorists, pedestrians are also expected to obey the rules of the road, including crossing only at crosswalks, waiting for pedestrians signals, and looking both ways before crossing the street.
- Avoid talking or texting on the phone while you are trick-or-treating or supervising a group of children. If your attention is distracted by a text or a phone call, you may not notice your child run into the street without looking, or you may walk past a driveway while a car is backing up. Children should also put their phones away while they are trick-or-treating and only use it if they need to call their parents or guardian.
- Ideally, you should stop trick-or-treating before it gets dark. However, if that is not realistic, make sure that you bring a flashlight or a glowstick. In addition, the darker the costume, the more difficult it is for motorists to see. Add reflective material to all costumes so that they are more visible to motorists who are driving through the neighborhood at night.
What Should I Do if I am Injured by a Reckless Driver on Halloween?
Car accidents are a frightening reality, particularly on Halloween when motorists fail to make safety a top priority. If you are involved in a car accident, you should do the following steps:
- Call 911 as soon as possible so police can arrive to the scene.
- File a police report.
- Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, your injuries, skid marks, or debris on the road.
- Go to the doctor as soon as possible.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
- Speak to a lawyer.
It is also highly recommended that you contact an experienced car accident lawyer at your earliest convenience so that they can assist you with the claims process.
Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyers at ACTS Law Represent Clients Injured in Halloween-Related Collisions
Halloween is a fun holiday for many families. If you plan on participating in Halloween activities, make sure you pay attention while you are on the road. Even with precautions, you can still get injured in a car accident. Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers at ACTS Law can help you if you have injuries because of a negligent driver. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 833-ACTS-LAWopens phone dialer or contact us online. Located in Los Angeles and San Diego, we serve clients throughout Southern California.