One of the scariest parts of Halloween is an uptick in car accidents. In fact, State Farm reports that car accidents kill more children on Halloween than any other day of the year. The influx of foot traffic on sidewalks combined with rush hour traffic during trick-or-treating hours is a deadly combination. Children in search of treats may not be focused on road safety. Additionally, Halloween costumes can impair vision, which can cause a trick-or-treater to head into traffic.
On Halloween night, drivers and pedestrians face many dangers. With Halloween quickly approaching, drivers should learn about ways they can stay safe on the holiday.
Responsible drivers obey traffic signals, road markings, and signage, maintain a safe speed, and keep their focus entirely on the road. On Halloween night, drivers must be extra vigilant and go above and beyond their usual level of attention. Drivers should always avoid distractions. Common distractions include cellphones and other electronic devices.
There is one additional safety concern that is a significant threat on Halloween: intoxicated drivers. When a driver gets behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, there are undeniable dangers for all road users. Federal traffic data shows that approximately 50 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents on Halloween involve an alcohol-impaired driver.
The increase in drunk driving could be due to Halloween parties and other events surrounding the holiday. Halloween festivities usually involve alcohol consumption, making drunk driving accidents a high possibility.
A lesser-known threat is driving while under the influence of marijuana. Marijuana has become a problem in states that have legalized its use. Marijuana can have similar effects to alcohol, such as slowed reaction time, impaired decision-making abilities, and reduced focus. Driving under the influence of marijuana is dangerous and illegal.
If you plan to drink on Halloween, you should prepare for a safe way home ahead of time. Options include asking a sober friend to serve as designated driver, calling a rideshare service, or taking public transportation. Planning ahead is best. Putting off making arrangements can lead to poor decisions.
Party hosts can also do their part by making sure guests have a safe way home. If a guest is in no shape to drive, take away their keys and call them a ride. A party host can also allow the intoxicated guest to sleep over.
Parents should warn children about the dangers of running into the road, and they should teach them how to safely cross the street. Children under 12 years old should be accompanied by an adult. Older children should stick to familiar neighborhoods when they are trick-or-treating, preferably in well-lit areas. Adults and children should walk on sidewalks.
Costumes can obstruct vision, making it harder for the trick-or-treater to hear an oncoming vehicle and hindering their ability to move quickly and freely. All of these factors can lead to a dangerous situation. Children in dark costumes are difficult to see at night as well. Consider using reflective tape. It is also important to carry a flashlight.
Halloween is a fun holiday, but drivers should be extra cautious. If you become injured in a Halloween collision, our Delaware car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help. You can contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 to set up a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.