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Nearly Half of Fatal Crashes on Halloween Night Involve Drunk Drivers

 Nearly Half of Fatal Crashes on Halloween Night Involve Drunk DriversMost Deadly Crashes on Halloween Weekend are DUI

Just when you thought Halloween couldn’t get any scarier, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that drunk drivers are responsible for nearly half of all fatal crashes on October 31.

Indeed, drunk drivers were involved in 38 percent of deadly crashes in the United States on Halloween night. They also make up 44 percent of all fatal crashes over Halloween weekend and 23 percent of all fatal pedestrian collisions.

Trick-or-treaters and other pedestrians are certainly at risk on Halloween. Especially as they walk through poorly-lit neighborhoods where there are few or no actual crosswalks. Drunk drivers are often coming and going to residential parties throughout the night. These drivers are often distracted, sometimes they are also speeding. Additionally, these intoxicated drivers are more likely to flee the scene if they hit someone because the penalties are more severe for a DUI than a hit-and-run crash.

That was the case back in 2014 when a hit-and-run driver struck and killed three 13-year-old girls. The three were trick-or-treating together in their Santa Ana neighborhood at 6:40 p.m.  The driver, whose license was suspended and was on probation for a prior DUI conviction, had his own two children in his vehicle with him. It’s unknown if he was DUI this time because he fled the scene. The motorist received the maximum 15-year sentence for his crimes.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that on average 29 people die every day in a DUI crash or one person every 52 minutes. Overall, DUI fatalities account for one-third of all traffic fatalities. In California, that’s a third of the roughly 1,100 people who die in crashes involving alcohol every year and approximately 10,000 die nationwide, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.

Why People Drive Drunk

  •  Planning Ahead for Halloween NightAn altered state of mind and perception due to alcohol.
  • A false sense of confidence.
  • Inability to judge physical limitations.
  • Embarrassment asking for a ride home.

These statistics highlight the dangers lurking on our roadways. However, drunk driving is not a problem that is only associated with Halloween or any other holiday. Distracted driving and distracted pedestrians are also problematic on Halloween night.

Planning Ahead for Halloween Night

Whether you are planning to take your children out trick-or-treating or putting together a Halloween party, it’s best to take precautions.

Party goers should designate a driver before heading out. Otherwise, arrange for someone to pick you up after Halloween parties  such as friend, taxi, Uber or Lyft service.

If your children are going out trick-or-treating in your neighborhood, make sure their costume has some reflective component or light colors. If the Halloween costumes are black or dark colors, explain to your children that they will be invisible to motorists. Even adult pedestrians are at risk so if you intend to drink and walk make sure you are sober enough to make it home safely. Use sidewalks and designated crosswalks and try to stay in well-lit areas and avoid dark streets.  If you’re walking down a road without a sidewalk, walk facing oncoming traffic as far as possible from the roadway.

All drivers should avoid distractions as they return home from the party. Turn music down inside the car, scan the area for pedestrians and potential drunk drivers on Halloween. Also, call 911 to report any drivers you suspect may be drunk.

California Accident Attorney

Our law firm hopes everyone will take steps to avoid drunk driving this Halloween. We also hope you will never need our services on Halloween or any other day of the year. However, we are here to help if you or a family member is hurt in a collision. Please contact us to request a free consultation at 1-800-235-6801.

Johnson Attorneys Group has been serving clients throughout California since 2007.

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