No wonder Halloween is one of the most fun holidays for children (and many adults). When else can you dress up as your favorite superhero or supernatural being, visit your neighbors, and receive candy?
But as a South Carolina child injury lawyer, I’m aware that in addition to the costumes and candy, Halloween comes with potential dangers for our children. For instance, the number of child pedestrians hit by cars on October 31 is more than double that for any other day of the year.
Drivers should always be on the look-out for pedestrians and cyclists, but on Halloween, it’s more important than ever to remain aware of trick-or-treaters and their parents. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. When drunk, distracted, or reckless drivers get the behind the wheel and endanger trick-or-treaters, they should be held accountable for the harm they cause. If you or your loved ones were injured in a car accident on Halloween, our injury attorneys are here to help you seek a full and fair recovery.
Scary Halloween Accident Statistics
October 31 can be a scary day out on South Carolina roads. While Halloween can be an incredibly fun holiday full of costumes and candy, statistics show that it is also one of the most dangerous nights of the year for pedestrians, especially children.
- Children are three times more likely to be struck and killed by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year
- Children ages 4 to 8 are about 10 times more likely to be killed in the evening on Halloween than they are during other autumn evenings
- In general, fatal pedestrian accidents are occurring more often and more often, with pedestrian deaths increasing 53 percent over the past 10 years, while other traffic safety statistics have decreased
- Twilight hours (prime trick-or-treating time) is the most dangerous time of day for pedestrians
- 86 percent of adults bring alcoholic beverages to Halloween parties, which increases the risk of being injured in a drunk driving accident on Halloween
- 52 percent of Halloween car accidents involve alcohol
Causes of Pedestrian and Car Accidents on Halloween
When an innocent person is hit by a car on Halloween, there are usually multiple factors that contribute, including:
- Lack of sidewalks
- Unsafe street crossings
- Poor or inadequate lighting
- Reckless driving
- Drunk driving
- Texting and driving
3 Tips to Keep Children Safe on Halloween
There are precautions that parents can take to lessen these dangers on Halloween. Here are three tips, adapted from Safe Kids USA’s Halloween Safety guide, to help avoid the potential dangers of Halloween to keep the holiday safe and fun for your kids.
- Have children under the age of 12 trick-or-treat with an adult. Halloween is a great chance to bond with your children, and trick-or-treating with them also allows you to make sure they stay safe. A taller adult crossing the road, for example, is easier for passing cars to spot than a group of kindergartners.
- Be as visible as possible. Safe Kids recommends staying in well-lit areas and carrying a flashlight or glow stick. Besides lighting your child’s way, these will keep them visible to drivers and other trick-or-treaters. You can also increase your child’s visibility by choosing a light-colored costume or decorating it with retro-reflective tape or stickers.
- Be safe on the streets. Walk on sidewalks or paths or, if there are none, to the far left of the street facing traffic. Cross the street at corners, especially intersections with traffic lights and crosswalks.
As you can see, keeping safe on Halloween should be simple. Practicing child safety doesn’t have to take away from the fun and excitement of the holiday.
Who Should Be Held Accountable for Halloween Accidents?
While you can take all the proper precautions, unfortunately there are many reckless drivers out on the road that can still cause harm. If someone you love was hit by a car on Halloween, an injury lawyer can help you hold the responsible person or business accountable for the harm they caused.
- Whether the at fault driver was driving drunk, distracted, or recklessly, he must be held responsible for causing harm to your child.
- Bars or businesses that overserve people and allow them to drive on our roads are liable for the damage that drunk person causes. Halloween parties are no excuse to drive drunk, especially on an evening when the streets are filled with pedestrians. If a bar chooses to overserve its patrons and send them out on the roads where parents and their children are roaming from house to house, they should be held responsible for the injuries they caused and the lives they changed.
- Local government and city planners may be responsible for poor roadway design, damaged sidewalks, or unsafe street crossings that led to the accident. If officials were aware of a dangerous issue that led to a child being hit by a car, they should be held accountable for the injuries incurred.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney to Handle Your Halloween Injury Case
If you’re not sure where to begin, an injury attorney can help investigate the accident to identify all responsible parties, so they can be held legally and financially accountable for the harm they caused. We can gather possible video evidence, interview witnesses, subpoena cell phone records, and collect receipts and sales reports from bars to help us understand what factors contributed to you or your child’s injuries.
If you have any questions regarding pedestrian accidents, Halloween safety, or South Carolina child injury law, please contact me today by calling (803) 790-2800, or you can start a live chat with us now.