How to stay safe on Halloween 2020
At GreeningLaw P.C., we want everyone to have a fun and happy Halloween this year. And although COVID-19 has put a hamper on a lot of activities and events, many people are still planning on carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating, and sipping cider with friends this holiday season.
Unfortunately, with upwards of 41 million kids taking to the streets in search of candy and fun, Halloween can also be one of the most dangerous nights of the year. That’s why it’s important for parents and other guardians to take the time to make sure kids are prepared for Halloween.
So, before you get dressed up and let the kids head out for a fun evening of trick-or-treating, we want to make sure you have the information necessary to keep yourself, your children, and others safe this year.
Here is a look at several of the most common injuries and accidents that occur on Halloween:
Accidents involving pedestrians and vehicles
Thanks to the increased foot traffic from parents and children on the roads and sidewalks, the number one danger on Halloween night comes from accidents involving pedestrians. In 2017 alone, 7,450 pedestrians died in accidents on Halloween, according the National Safety Council.
Other reports have found that children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween as compared to any other day of the year.
To keep both kids and adults safe on the road this Halloween, keep the following tips in mind:
• Make sure kids have flashlights and reflective tape when out trick-or-treating after dark.
• All children should be accompanied by an adult when trick-or-treating.
• Set a specific time for children to return from trick-or-treating.
• Teach children to always look both ways before crossing the street.
• Parents and kids need to put away electronic devices and pay attention when walking through neighborhood streets.
• Don’t run into the street, especially at night.
• Slow down and stay alert in residential neighborhoods.
• Enter and exit driveways and alleyways slowly.
• Look for children walking on the road and sidewalks.
• Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
• Discourage newer, more inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween.
• Stay off the phone so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
• Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Be especially alert for kids during those hours.
Drunk driving incidents
When it comes to adults on Halloween, the biggest risks also come from hitting the roads to head to and from parties, concerts, and other events. A lot, if not most, of these events involve alcohol, and because Halloween falls on a Saturday in 2020, this likelihood only goes up.
Unfortunately, too many people make the unwise decision to get behind the wheel after having a few drinks at a Halloween party.
That means that things like car accidents and crashes caused by drunk drivers are much more likely, leading to injuries and even fatalities for those involved. In fact, reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that in a four-year period, 42 percent of all motor vehicle deaths on Halloween night were alcohol related, and around 14 percent of all pedestrian deaths on Halloween involved intoxicated drivers.
The drivers most at risk are those between the ages of 18 and 25, who account for nearly one-third of all fatal Halloween car accidents every year. Safety experts suggest keeping young, inexperienced drivers off the road on Halloween, and of course, be alert for signs of alcohol abuse.
Importantly, remember that even if you haven’t had anything to drink, you need to keep your eyes on others and drive carefully to protect yourself from others who might have.
Slip and Fall Accidents
In Texas, you never quite know what the weather is going to be like, especially around this time of year. Streets and sidewalks may be dry and clear, or they could be slippery and wet. When you combine dangerous conditions with things like loose costumes, masks that obscure vision, and unsafe footwear, it’s a recipe for accidents involving slips, trips and falls.
In fact, trips and falls make up the second most common cause of injuries on Halloween. And as we mentioned above, the main culprits here are loose-fitting or bulky costumes and masks that block or obscure vision.
Before you head out, make sure that whatever you or your child are wearing allows full range of eyesight and make any necessary alterations to prevent tripping. Advise children to try not to run, ride their bike or skate while wearing a costume.
Another thing to watch out for on Halloween night is fire hazards. Jack-o’-lanterns and candles are popular accompaniments to Halloween fun, but they pose risks. Consider using electric alternatives to traditional candles, like string lights for windows and LED tea lights for jack-o’-lanterns.
If you do choose traditional candles, be sure they are far enough away from things like other decorations and areas where people will be wearing Halloween costumes.
Even though by law, all commercially sold masks and costumes are required to be made out of flame-resistant materials, this doesn’t mean they can’t actually catch fire – they’re just a little easier to put out when removed from the source of the flames.
For those who make their own costumes, it’s a good idea to try and use flame-resistant cloth and other materials. Nylon and polyester are good choices, but if you do have to use more flammable materials such as cotton, you can purchase fire-retardant spray to put on the costume.
If you or a loved one is injured in an accident on Halloween, GreeningLaw P.C. wants to help
As we said, we want everyone to have a fun and safe Halloween. And if you stay mindful of the above safety tips, you should be able to steer clear of danger this holiday season. But accidents do happen, and the carelessness of others can lead to tragedy, even if you or your child do everything you’re supposed to do to stay safe.
If an accident does happen and you or a loved one are injured, call GreeningLaw P.C. to speak to one of our experienced, compassionate personal injury and wrongful death attorneys.
At GreeningLaw P.C., we’re one of the most recognized personal injury law firms in Texas. We make sure that our clients are properly compensated, and our attorneys care about our clients and their outcomes.
Contact us any time to schedule a free consultation. We’ll go over all the elements of your case, discuss any possible compensation you may receive, and suggest the best course of action. And because we work on a contingency basis, you don’t pay for anything unless you are compensated for your case.
We fight the legal battle so you have time for healing and renewal.