Is Halloween Really the Most Dangerous Night of the Year?
Believe it or not, Halloween is among the highest level of consumer spending for U.S. holidays. Kids love getting dressed up and hitting the streets for trick or treating. Adults love it too. They also buy costumes and attend lavish Halloween parties. But within all of the fun and excitement, Halloween can be dangerous, perhaps the most dangerous night of the year.
A study published by JAMA Pediatrics evaluated pedestrian fatality risks on Halloween compared to similar nights one week before or after October 31. Researchers examined four decades of data from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and found that pedestrian fatalities were 43% higher on Halloween than on other nights. In fact, Halloween is the deadliest day of the year for child pedestrians which is a terrible statistic. Obviously, if there are more fatalities on Halloween night, common sense would dictate that there is also an increase in nonfatal accidents. The researchers found that 6 p.m. was the deadliest hour which is when most younger children are trick-or-treating.
So, let’s keep our children safe out there. Make sure the kids:
- Can be seen with a well-lit costume and a source of light. Flashlights and glowsticks are good sources of light. And try to stay in well-lit areas.
- Obey all traffic signs and use crosswalks and sidewalks.
- Walk against traffic – walk on the left side, facing oncoming traffic.
- Avoid walking between parked cars or other obstacles.
- Choose an area to trick-or-treat that has low vehicular traffic and confine themselves to that area.
- Put phones away to avoid distractions from texts and phone calls.
Other Halloween Hazards
Besides pedestrian accidents, there are other Halloween risks lurking out there. Trick-or-treaters and their parents can get hurt by tripping over Halloween decorations in the front yard. Speaking of yard decorations, we all have seen those neighbors with super elaborate displays. Be careful because some of these elaborate displays may potentially cause burns or electrocution. Nevertheless, avoid these displays and other tripping hazards including extension cords, garden hoses, dilapidated front steps, or uneven sidewalks. For kids with a mask or an ill-fitting costume, these tripping hazards can be even more problematic.
Lastly, beware of the dog. Homeowners have the responsibility to keep people safe from their dogs. However, on Halloween, the dog may get out or be spooked by all the house traffic or costumes. As you can see, there are many potential injury risks on Halloween.
When Adult Fun Turns Bad
As mentioned before, Halloween is not just for children. Bars and restaurants are often packed, and people throw house parties. Either way, you can be sure that alcohol will play a major role in the festivities. Not surprisingly, the overuse of alcohol can lead to bad things. Drunk drivers can hurt themselves, passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians. Likewise, people under the influence can get aggressive and exercise poor judgment. This can result in fights, assaults, and other violent behavior.
Don’t let a happy occasion turn ugly. Get a designated driver or use a ride-share service like Uber or Lyft. And watch out for those who may have had a little too much to drink.
Please be careful, and don’t let Halloween be the most dangerous night of the year for you. If for some reason it is and you get injured, we will be here for you. Give us a call at 404.THE.BAER (404.843.2237) or contact us at The Baer Law Firm. We will look at the facts of your situation and give you an honest assessment.
Attorney Bryan Baer has twenty (20) years of legal experience representing clients in serious and catastrophic personal injury and medical malpractice cases. He has been first chair in more than a dozen twelve-person jury trials on both the plaintiff and defense sides. Recognized as a leader in his legal community, he is frequently asked to speak at legal seminars on trial topics ranging from “Best Practices in Voire Dire” to “Maximizing Damages at Trial” as well as insurance issues such as “Navigating the Insurance Landscape” and “Injury Demands & Negotiations.” Learn more here.