This Halloween, while the younger kids may be trying to fall asleep after an exciting night of trick-or-treating and binging on candy, the adults may be attending their own spooky parties. More often than not, these may involve drinking alcoholic beverages as well as dressing up. This can be a recipe for disaster, particularly if not-so-sober partygoers are getting behind the wheel to get around or are crossing the streets without regular caution. Below are some safety tips on how to avoid pedestrian accidents this Halloween, both for drivers and pedestrians.
Halloween Car Accident Statistics
This year Halloween arrives at the same time as the end of Daylight Saving Time, prompting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind Americans to drive safely this holiday. This includes keeping a close eye out for trick-or-treaters crossing the darkly lit streets as well as never getting behind the wheel if you have celebrated the night with alcohol. The shorter days of fall and winter that come with us turning our clocks back this November 2nd weekend also bring more safety challenges than usual.
Historically, an increase in both drinking and pedestrian traffic on Halloween night has ended in dangerous results, according to the NHTSA’s October edition of Safety 1n Numb3rs. Just five years ago in 2012, nearly half of all crash fatalities on this night involved a drunk driver (download NHTSA Halloween .pdf here). On any other regular day that number is, on average, 31%. Moreover, more than one fourth of Halloween-related crash fatality victims were pedestrians compared to just 14% on an average day during the year. More than 20% of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night from 2008 to 2012 involved a drunk driver, according to NHTSA’s research.
Not surprisingly, the evening hours are the deadliest ones. Statistics from 2012 show that a pedestrian was tragically killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes on Halloween night that year. The majority of these incidents happened at night, with one quarter of them occurring between 4pm and 8pm and 32% happening between 8pm and midnight.
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Halloween Safety Tips
Because the days will be short, the nights will be dark, and the public will be ghoulish, below are some safety tips for both drivers and pedestrians to stay safe this Halloween.
– Be careful behind the wheel: Be alert and drive slowly in residential areas, enter and exit driveways and alleys with caution, get rid of distractions so you can focus on the road and your surroundings.
– Drive sober or designate a driver: If you are going to celebrate with spirits, plan a way to get home safely at the end of the night including designating a sober driver, using other means of transportation (taxi, rideshare, public transportation, a friend or family member). If you see a drunk driver on the road, call law enforcement, and if you see someone who is about to drive drunk, take away his or her car keys and help make safe travel arrangements.
– Walk this way: Because walking impaired can have just as fatal results as driving impaired, designate a sober friend to walk you home.
– Help keep the littles safe: Children under 12 who are out at night should always be with an adult, kids should stick with familiar and well-lit areas and trick-or-treat in groups, choose face paint over masks so the child’s line of vision is not obstructed, decorate costumes with reflective tape and use glow sticks or flashlights, always cross at street corners and use traffic lights and crosswalks after looking both ways before entering the street.
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Orlando Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
Florida holds the record in 2014 for the top four most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians in the nation. This Halloween, the streets may be even less safe than usual. If you or someone you know has been hurt in a Florida pedestrian accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns. Click here to schedule your free personal injury consultation.
NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.