Halloween: Deadliest Night of the Year for Pedestrian Accidents
Halloween is supposed to be a scary night, but it’s not supposed to be deadly.
On a night where children dress up and walk neighborhoods collecting candy, there are also adults who are too often drinking alcohol and driving through those same streets on their way to house parties and bars.
“It’s a dangerous mix. You have children often wearing dark clothing and wearing masks that hinder their ability to see where they are going. They are out there darting across the same roads used by drivers who may be drinking,” said Attorney James Johnson. “We as adults have no excuse to drive drunk these days with all the ride share services available, but unfortunately there are collisions.”
It’s no surprise that Halloween night has more child pedestrian deaths than any other time of the year and it’s also among the worst holidays for DUI crashes and deaths, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Indeed, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 119 people were killed by drunk drivers on Halloween night between 2009 and 2013. Roughly 43 percent of all those deaths involved a drunken driver.
To make matters worse, between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Halloween night, children ages 5 to 14 years old are four times more likely to die than any other night of the year.
Roughly 26 percent of all fatal pedestrian crashes on Halloween night in 2013 involved a DUI driver, the NHTSA said.
“With an increase in the number of children and adults out on Halloween, motorists play a critical role in helping to keep them safe,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “As a driver, it is important to abide by the rules of the road and remain alert, sober, and free from distraction.”
People in the United States are expected to spend roughly $8.4 billion in 2016 celebrating Halloween — nearly double the $4.8 billion spent in 2009, according to the National Retail Federation. Additionally, more than 171 million people are expected to take part in holiday activities with friends and family, most of them either trick or treating, celebrating at a party or going out to bars and restaurants.
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Johnson Attorneys Group is a California personal injury law firm that helps people injured or families who have lost a loved one recover compensation for all their losses. If you or a loved one were hurt in a collision due to a negligent driver, give us a call at 800-235-6801 to speak to an experienced attorney. Our consultations are free and you’ll pay nothing unless there is a settlement.
Halloween Safety Tips
On Halloween night, children and teenagers get excited and often forget basic safety when crossing roads so it’s up to motorists and parents to be extra cautious.
The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and California Highway Patrol (CHP) have provided a list of tips for parents, trick-or-treaters and party-goers to help ensure everyone’s safety.
- Plan your route ahead of time on well-lit streets. Stay on sidewalks. Avoid busy streets.
- Choose a costume that makes it easy to walk, see and be seen. Light color costumes are best.
- Select costumes, masks, wigs, or beards made of flame-retardant materials (check the labels). Avoid flimsy, lightweight fabrics and costumes with billowing skirts or loose baggy sleeves.
- A mask may keep kids from seeing well, so make sure they take it off before crossing the street. Consider using makeup instead of a mask for added safety.
- It is best to trick-or-treat when it is still light outside, but carry a flashlight so trick-or-treaters can see and drivers can see them.