The DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog recently posted an article on the Halloween hazards that young children face every year. This Halloween falls on a Friday, condensing all the party-going and trick or treating to one or two nights, instead of spread out over a week. Because there will be a much larger number of people out that may be participating in raucous activities, it is important that people of all ages keep safety in mind. The following are some great facts and tips on how, and why, to keep safe this Halloween, found in a AAA article.
“”When Halloween falls during the middle of the work week, parties and events are spread out over several days to include the weekend,” said Beth Mosher, spokeswoman for AAA Chicago. “With Halloween on a Friday this year, most festivities are expected to take place that evening putting a large number of adult partygoers on the road the same night as trick-or-treaters.” Two out of three adults ages 18 to 24 plan to throw or attend a Halloween party this year, according to the National Retail Federation, and 93 percent of children are expected to go trick-or-treating reports the National Confectioners Association. “Unfortunately we also see a sharp rise in the number of motor vehicle fatalities on Halloween when it is on a weekend, so it’s critical for both motorists and pedestrians to take extra caution and make sure this is a safe and happy Halloween for everyone,” said Mosher. The number of motor vehicle fatalities on Halloween rises an average of 30 percent to 151 deaths when October 31 is on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, compared to other days of the week, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). AAA suggests partygoers and trick-or-treaters reduce their risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash by doing some advance planning.
Partygoers & Hosts
- Make plans to get home safely. If intending to consume alcohol, make plans to get home safely by selecting a designated driver or ensuring cab service is available from the party location.
- Consider an overnight stay. If attending a party at a friend’s home, consider asking to stay overnight. If participating in festivities in a downtown or commercial area, look into hotel accommodations within walking distance. Many hotels offer special Halloween weekend rates and promotions.
- Have safe transportation options ready. If hosting a party with alcohol, compile a list of phone numbers including local cab companies and organizations offering designated driver services to have readily available should guests need a safe way home.
- Plan your travel route carefully. Try to avoid cutting through residential areas that will likely have a large number of trick-or-treaters. If providing directions to a party, make sure to not route guests through residential areas unnecessarily.
- Take care of designated drivers and offer alternatives to alcohol. Plan to have non-alcoholic drink options available for designated drivers and others. Serve plenty of food so partygoers do not drink on empty stomachs.
Trick-or-Treaters & Parents
- Select highly visible costumes. Look for light, bright and reflective costumes that make trick-or-treaters easy to see. Add reflective tape to costumes and treat buckets and bags to increase visibility.
- Ensure costumes fit well. Have trick-or-treaters try on, walk and play in costumes and shoes in advance to check fit. Make sure nothing comes loose or might cause the child to trip. Check that wigs or other accessories do not obstruct the child’s view.
- Review safety precautions with children. Include traffic safety rules in the review such as stay on the sidewalk, cross the street at crosswalks, avoid walking in front of, behind or between parked cars and stop at driveways to make sure no vehicles are coming in and out.
- Plan trick-or-treating route and supervision in advance. Avoid areas with heavy vehicle traffic and look for well-lit streets with sidewalks. Make arrangements for an adult or a responsible teen to accompany younger trick-or-treaters.
- Get a flashlight with fresh batteries. A flashlight can help trick-or-treaters see and be seen, but it should never be directed at someone’s eyes including those of passing motorists.
AAA offers an in-depth list of Halloween safety tips for motorists, parents and kids online at AAA.com/PublicAffairs. AAA Chicago has represented roadway interests for motorists and pedestrians and serves as a leading advocate for various traffic safety and travel-related issues for more than a century. For more information on any aspect of AAA Chicago’s breadth of service including AAA’s home, auto and life insurance products; travel-related services, AAA’s Show Your Card & Save program; and/or any AAA membership service including emergency roadside assistance, please visit our Web site at www.AAA.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-YOUR-AAA (968-7222). ”
Related articles previously posted on the DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog:
- Safety Guidelines for Motorists and Trick or Treaters
- Halloween: Dangerous Candy—Beware
- Holiday Candle Safety Tips
- Keep Safety in Mind When Planning Children’s Halloween Costumes
For information about your legal rights, please call the law firm of Regan Zambri & Long, PLLC at (202) 463-3030.