Keeping Georgia Trick-or-Treaters Safe This Halloween
Practical jokes gone awry, tainted candy, malfunctioning toys and other mishaps can all cause serious personal injuries to children celebrating Halloween. But it seems the greatest danger is one that is ever-present year-round: Auto accidents. However, on a holiday famous for its sudden increase in foot traffic, a sudden uptick in car accidents should come with little surprise.
According to U.S. News and World Report, children are more than twice as likely to be killed in a car accident on Halloween than on any other night of the year.
Learn more about how to protect children from Halloween car accidents in Macon, and how to pursue legal action for compensation if personal injuries do occur. At the Law Offices of Jon R. Hawk, we strive to achieve security and peace of mind for our clients.
What Parents Can Do to Reduce Halloween Car Accidents
There are many reasons why car accident rates can increase on Halloween. Children tend to react unpredictably in the roadway. This problem is
exacerbated by their excitement for the holiday, the effect of being in a large group, and the potential for impaired vision or movement by their costumes. Masks can obstruct breathing - not to mention reduce a child’s ability to watch out for traffic. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using safer alternatives to masks, such as non-toxic makeup and decorative hats. There are also several steps to take when addressing the safety of a child’s costume:
- Is it hemmed? Long costumes can easily pose a tripping hazard.
- Do their shoes have good traction? Costume footwear should not impair a child’s mobility.
In addition to ensuring their child’s costume is safe, parents should also review safe traffic practices, such as: looking for traffic in all directions, staying out of the roadway, not making unpredictable movements, and only crossing at designated crosswalks. Children tend to become distracted by costumes, candy, friends, and decorations. Gently remind them to continue being aware of traffic. It can be helpful for very young children to be kept in a wagon, bike, or other vehicle to ensure they do not wander into traffic.
What Drivers Can Do to Reduce Halloween Car Accidents
Of course, drivers are also responsible for watching out for children, and failure to do so is that cause of many Halloween car accidents. Drivers must use particular caution on Halloween. Slow down, and watch especially carefully for children in dark costumes which are difficult to see. Be prepared to react to unexpected movements by children near your vehicle.
Weather can also make it more difficult to avoid children in the roadway. Always slow down when there are slick roads or reduced visibility due to snow, sleet, rain, hail, or other weather conditions.
Motorists should never drink and drive. According to U.S. News and World Report, drinking violations increase on Halloween. When Halloween falls on a Saturday, drinking violations are 4.5 times higher than the increase when Halloween falls on any other day of the week. The weekends remain popular party times for most people, which in turns means taking steps to be extra careful when out participating in activities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 43 percent of all Halloween motor vehicle deaths between 2009 and 2013 were caused by drunk drivers.
Injury victims from car accidents, slip and fall accidents, burns, household accidents, and other personal injuries have the legal right to be compensated for their losses. Consult with an experienced Macon personal injury attorney as soon as possible to fully protect your child’s legal rights after any Halloween accident.