Halloween is approaching! While celebrations will likely look different this year due to COVID-19, many parents, children, and other revelers may still take to the streets for Trick-or-Treating and other beloved seasonal activities.
Every Halloween in America, millions of pedestrians take to the streets during twilight hours, historically the most dangerous time of day for people traveling on foot. Anyone who plans on going out this year should understand the risks as well as how to protect themselves and their children. Our Phoenix personal injury attorneys explain how to keep yourself safe as a pedestrian on Halloween.
Halloween Is the Most Dangerous Night of the Year to Be a Pedestrian
A Washington Post article recently looked into just how dangerous Halloween night is for pedestrians, especially children. By collecting national traffic accident data from 2004 through 2018, they found that 54 pedestrians aged 18 or younger were killed by motor vehicles on Halloween compared with only 16 on a typical day.
Another study found that children between the ages of 4 and 8 were approximately 10 times more likely to be killed on Halloween night compared to all other evenings during the fall months. The study also found that the 6 p.m. hour was the deadliest time for Trick-or-Treaters to be on the road. This is likely because both rush hour and sunset generally converge around this time on Halloween.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
Fortunately, pedestrians can take steps to keep themselves safe. Remember: motorists will not be looking out for you, so it is important you make yourself as visible as possible and constantly stay aware of your surroundings.
If you are going to an outdoor event or plan on Trick-or-Treating this Halloween, follow these steps:
- Always cross the street at corners and intersections, using traffic signals and crosswalks when present
- Before crossing, look left, right, and left again—keep looking out for cars as you cross
- Carry flashlights or glow sticks to help drivers spot you (and your children)
- Decorate your costumes and/or accessories like bags and shoes with reflective tape or stickers
- Don’t look at your phone or another device while you walk
- Never leave children under 12 unsupervised
- Stick to sidewalks; if there are none, walk against the traffic so you can see oncoming cars
- Teach children to make eye contact with motorists before crossing the street in front of them
Driver Safety Tips
Motorists also play a major role in keeping pedestrians safe on Halloween. If you plan on driving that night—or any evening—remember to drive extra cautiously when light is low.
Tips for motorists driving on Halloween include:
- Be especially watchful for more pedestrians than usual, especially in the late afternoon and at night
- Remember that children are excited about Trick-or-Treating and likely won’t be paying attention to their surroundings—they may move unpredictably, like suddenly running into the road
- Avoid using your phone, GPS, and other devices while driving
- Stay at or under the speed limit—speeding can make it hard to slow down in time to avoid hitting someone if you spot them too late
- Never ever get behind the wheel after you have been drinking or doing drugs
Halloween & COVID-19
If you are reading this in 2020, you should also be aware of the risks associated with the novel coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released guidelines aimed at COVID-19 prevention on Halloween.
The CDC is asking people to refrain from (or heavily modify how they participate in) the following activities:
- Door-to-door Trick-or-Treating
- Indoor costume parties
- Haunted houses
- Halloween or autumn festivals, especially traveling to ones located outside your area
We hope that, with these safety guidelines in mind, you and your loved ones have a fun and safe Halloween!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident while a pedestrian in Arizona, Alex & Associates can help. Our Phoenix car accident attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience handling claims for those who have been injured in pedestrian accidents. Call (602) 483-6114 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.