- Halloween Is The Most Fatal Night of the Year for Child Pedestrians — Check Out These Safety Tips Before Taking to the Streets!
Halloween Is The Most Fatal Night of the Year for Child Pedestrians — Check Out These Safety Tips Before Taking to the Streets!
So many traditions surround Halloween, a day when the divide between the living and dead is supposedly at its thinnest. Thankfully, this is just folklore popularized by the scary stories, costumes, and horror movies we see this time of year. So, what is there to be genuinely frightened of this Halloween (other than potential cavities from overindulgence in Halloween candy)? The number of innocent children injured by inattentive or intoxicated motorists. The Centers for Disease Control reports that kids are two times more likely to be killed by motor vehicles on Halloween compared to the other 364 days of the year. In this week’s frightfully informative blog, we list several reasons for these increased dangers, plus several simple ways to keep kids safer while they’re trick-or-treating.
Reason #1 — Overexcited kids.
Who can forget the thrill of the Halloween hunt for candy? Remember rushing from house to house to claim those tasty treats? Or traveling to unfamiliar neighborhoods in (sometimes fruitful, other times futile) pursuit of the mother lode of full-size candy bars ripe for the taking on the porches of generous homeowners! But all that frantic fun can pose some unpredictable problems, especially when exuberant children forget to follow basic traffic safety rules. We’re sure you’d agree it’s far better to hear the squeals of delighted kids engaged in Halloween hijinks than the screeching tires of a car attempting to avoid a costumed crusader. So, what’s a concerned parent to do? While your kids may not entirely like it, you can help them stay safe if you discreetly tag along for the evening’s candy gathering frenzy. Even if you remain a few houses back to let them enjoy the evening somewhat independently, the presence of an unobtrusive yet alert adult in the background can go far in keeping kids both under control and cognizant of traffic safety. An expert in first aid, the American Red Cross offers some additional recommendations for child safety on Halloween to help prevent little ones from wandering into harm’s way.
Reason #2 — Excessive alcohol.
Kids aren’t the only ones who throw caution to the wind this time of year. Halloween parties can be a blast, but hosts should be sure to keep an eye out for guests who might overindulge at their spooky soirees. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that the majority of drunk drivers killed on a recent Halloween night were between the ages of 21 and 34. It’s also worth noting that Michigan’s social host law states that hosts can be held liable if they let Halloween party guests depart while under the influence which could potentially result in a drunk driving accident. NHTSA officials offer several suggestions for ways to encourage safe celebrations, including arranging for designated drivers, limiting alcohol intake in the final hour of your Halloween festivities, and utilizing rideshare services like Uber and Lyft.
Reason #3 — Early sunsets.
For decades, Daylight Savings Time ended in late October, causing nighttime darkness to arrive earlier by an hour just before Halloween (much to the joy of kids who wanted the scariest night of the year to be as dark as possible as soon as possible). Trick-or-treaters might have enjoyed those earlier twilights, but public safety officials eventually noted that late October wasn’t ideal for the time change, especially since kids wearing darker costumes were far less visible after sunset. Starting in 2007, the switch to Standard Time was moved out to the first Sunday in November and darkness has arrived an hour later on Halloween night ever since. Earlier this year, Michigan legislators even considered abandoning the time change altogether and a bill was introduced to retain Daylight Savings Time all year round. However, since the U.S. Congress must act on the issue before states can do so independently, the issue remains unresolved. This year, the switch back to Standard Time is set for Sunday, November 7th, which is about as late in the calendar as that can happen.
Regardless of when we adjust our clocks to “fall back” by an hour this year, it will still be pretty dark on Halloween night. So, how do we keep our precious little monsters safer after sunset, especially from a negligent driver? One simple solution is to include reflective material on their costumes to make them more visible to motorists. Another is providing them flashlights or glow sticks to carry, which can add to the festive vibes while keeping everyone protected.
Don’t Be Afraid — We’ve Got You Covered.
We hope this blog has helped clarify some of the spookier aspects of Halloween safety so you and your kids can enjoy this year’s festivities without apprehension. Don’t let safety concerns deaden all your Halloween spirit — enjoy it to the max! But always remember that, if something painful or scary happens to you or someone you love during this most frightful time of the year, the personal injury attorneys at Mike Morse Injury Law Firm will have your back. We’re available 24/7 online, or call us anytime at 855-MIKE-WINS (855-645-3946). Happy Halloween!