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Let’s Stay Safe This Halloween

October 27, 2015

A Frightful Holiday

Parents know that they need to exercise caution on Halloween night due to concerns about dangerous neighborhoods and dangerous people. And with fears about poisoned candy, pranks, and vandalism, Halloween certainly comes to mind as the most hazardous holiday of the year for our children. However, many people don’t realize that the biggest threat to our children’s safety isn’t risky candy or shady neighbors; the most imminent risk for our children on Halloween is dimly lit streets and irresponsible, distracted, and drunk drivers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been monitoring data from vehicular accidents of all kinds for decades, and the data shows that January 1 and October 31 are consistently the two deadliest days for pedestrians. For example, on November 1, 2014, CNN published an article detailing the deaths of three 13-year old trick-or-treaters in Santa Ana, California who were run down by a vehicle. According to that article, “Two years ago, 48% of all crash fatalities during Halloween involved a drunken driver, compared with 31% on an average day in the same year.” And in 2012, there were 54 deaths on Halloween, with 26 of those deaths involving a drunk driver.

With these risks in mind, here are some suggestions to keep motorists and pedestrians safe this Halloween season:

Motorists

  • Always follow the speed limit and remain alert in residential neighborhoods.
  • Use extra caution when entering or exiting driveways and alleys.
  • Eliminate distractions so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • Always nominate a designated driver to ensure a safe drive home if you plan on celebrating the holiday with alcohol.
  • If you can’t find a designated driver, utilize a taxi or ride-sharing company to get home safely.

Pedestrians

  • Walking home intoxicated can also be dangerous. If you choose to do so, make sure that you have a sober escort.
  • Children under the age of 12 (at least) should not be out after dark without adult supervision.
  • Make sure your kids remain in familiar, well-lit areas and that they trick-or-treat in groups.
  • Decorate their costumes with reflective tape or have them carry glow sticks or flashlights to ensure that they can be seen by motorists.
  • Instruct your children to always observe pedestrian laws and always look both ways before crossing a street. They should only cross streets at designated zones and always use traffic signals and crosswalks.

Take precautions. Be smart. Be safe. But if the worst happens and your child is the victim of a collision, the details will matter. If you were a witness to the incident (or if you know any witnesses) take or get notes. Include any details you remember – road conditions, weather, if the driver seemed intoxicated or hostile, etc.; even the details of your child’s costume could be extremely important.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk or distracted driver, contact the Law Office of William D. Cook at (907) 694-2000. We have the knowledge and experience you need during this difficult time. Utilizing our services will allow you to look after your family while we take care of your personal injury claim. We even offer free consultations to assess the merits of your case, and you do not have to pay us a dime until we have achieved optimal recovery for you and your family.

References:

Karimi, F. & Leopold, T. (2015, November 1). Halloween: 3 trick-or-treaters killed by speeding car in California, authorities say. CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/01/us/halloween-deaths

Ucles, J.A. (2014, October 29). Remember to ‘think safe, ride safe, be safe!’ as daylight saving time ends. NHTSA. Retrieved from http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/2014/halloween-advisory-buzzed-driving-is-drunk-driving

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