Fall is here, the trees are turning bright colors, and the Maple Lane Farms corn maze has opened to the public. This time of year the stores fill with decorations in anticipation of the coming holidays. Additionally, the first holiday on the list is Halloween. This annual tradition brings up childhood memories of Halloweens past as parents try to create lifelong memories of candies and costumes for their children. During Halloween, some of us will stay home to greet the trick-or-treaters, some of us will attend Halloween celebrations, and some of us will take our own children on the annual rite through Maryville’s neighborhoods.
However, with all the fun and celebration, Halloween does come with some potential hazards. Zombies and vampires aren’t the only scary things associated with Halloween. It’s unfortunate that no matter how hard we try to keep our children safe, other people aren’t as cautious. With the adult celebrations some drivers may irresponsibly test their luck by driving while intoxicated.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, a child is twice as likely to be injured on Halloween than any other day of the year. And the NHTSA has concluded, for pedestrian related vehicle accidents, that Halloween is the second deadliest day of the year, only followed by New Years Eve. Car accident injuries and fatalities are physically and emotionally painful especially when they involve children and holidays.
Safety Tips For Children
Fortunately, there are plenty of safety tips for helping to keep your children safe while they enjoy trick-or-treating. Safety doesn’t have to take away from the fun and excitement of Halloween. Many organizations list tips for keeping Halloween fun and safe.
Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, American Academy of Pediatrics reminds Trick-or-Treaters and their adult guardians to:
- Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
- Wear reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
- Carry a cellphone for quick communication.
- Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
- Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
- Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!
- Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
Safety Tips For Adults
Also, for all you adults who will celebrating at festivities that involve alcohol remember to seriously consider your consumption of alcohol before getting behind the wheel of a car. The NHTSA also reports that 60 percent of a highway fatalities on Halloween are from impaired drivers. Because of the risk of drunk driving on Halloween, local law enforcement will be out in force searching for those less prudent revellers before they cause harm to others.
Halloween celebrations can be fun, dressing up as your favorite characters and gathering with friends, but be careful that your day doesn’t become a real legal horror story.
The NHTSA has tips for your adult celebration as well:
- Before the Halloween festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.
- Always designate a sober driver.
- If you are impaired, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
- Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
- Use your community’s sober ride program.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.
- If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to where they are going.
These tips may seem to be common sense, but every year the drunk driving statistics on Halloween show that not everyone gets the message. A car accident can cause physical, emotional, and financial difficulties especially when it involves children and the holidays.
If you or a loved one has been the victims of a drunk driving accident an experienced accident attorney will be able to gather evidence related to the accident and can review all the elements of the case. You are encouraged to contact a local personal injury attorney with experience handling car accident cases.
If you have been involved in a vehicle accident, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. at (865) 524-5657.
Lastly, we advise you to have a fun, memorable, and safe Halloween!
Trend and Pattern Analysis of Highway Crash Fatality, Mar. 1, 2005, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Halloween Safety, 2013, Safe Kids Worldwide
Halloween Safety Tips, 2013, American Academy of Pediatrics
Halloween Campaign Sample Talking Points, Aug. 21, 2013, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
More Blog Entries:
Tennessee Traffic Deaths Spiked in 2012, Feb. 28, 2013, Knoxville Injury Lawyer Blog
Tennessee Injury Attorneys: Enjoy Safe, Responsible Fourth of July, Jun. 26, 2013, Knoxville Injury Lawyer Blog