- October 31, 2016
- by WILL DAVIDSON LLP
- accident, car accident, driving tips, Halloween, injury lawyer, motor vehicle accident, personal injury, personal injury law, Personal Injury Lawyer, road safety, Toronto Law Firm, Toronto personal injury lawyer, Will Davidson LLP,
Halloween is a favourite holiday for kids of all ages: whether you’re guiding your young children around the neighbourhood, roaming the streets with a group of trick-or-treating friends, or enjoying the always entertaining Halloween nightlife, October 31st has something for everybody. Unfortunately, Halloween can also be a dangerous time for pedestrians and motorists alike. While an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you claim damages you might incur in an accident, the best way to ensure that Halloween is a positive experience for all is to play it safe.
Tips for kids and kids’ parents
Every year, approximately 30 pedestrians under the age of 14 are killed in Canada, and a further 2,400 are injured. That makes pedestrian accidents a leading cause of death for young children, and on Halloween kids are more at risk than usual. According to the United States’ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, kids between 5 and 14 are four times more likely to be killed as pedestrians between 4 and 10 pm on Halloween than on any other night of the year.
“On Halloween, there are more children on foot trick-or-treating, compared to other nights of the year,” said Pamela Fuselli, interim CEO of Parachute, a national charitable organization dedicated to preventing injuries and saving lives, in a press release for Walk This Way, Parachute’s annual awareness campaign touting safety on Halloween. “That means they may be at increased risk for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. The days are getting shorter, which serves as a reminder for both drivers and pedestrians to be more aware of their surroundings.”
With that in mind, what steps can you take to ensure your kids stay safe while enjoying a fun Halloween experience?
- Plan a route in advance: avoid dark and high-traffic streets when possible.
- Get your kids to wear bright, light-coloured costumes or, if they insist on sticking with darker motifs, make sure they’re decked out in reflective tape, glow sticks, wristbands, or anything else that will attract drivers’ attention.
- Avoid floppy, ill-fitting masks that hinder vision. If possible, opt for face paint.
- Always cross at crosswalks, street corners, and intersections, where drivers will be most alert.
- If your kids are older and heading out solo, make sure you know where they’re going and set a strict return-home time.
- Ensure your kids’ cell phones are charged so you can maintain communication throughout the evening.
Of course, even the most stringent safety precautions can’t prevent all accidents; if you or a member of your family is injured as a pedestrian, contact a personal injury lawyer at Will Davidson LLP to explore your options.
Tips for drivers and partiers
One of the great secrets of adulthood is that Halloween might be more fun once you’ve outgrown trick-or-treating. October 31st has become an annual party date, a night to dress to impress and hit the town. Unfortunately, that often means correlates to a spike in drunk driving on the same evening when motorists must be most alert. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that of the 119 traffic deaths on Halloween night in the United States between 2009 and 2013, a staggering 43 per cent involved alcohol intoxication.
As such, here are a couple tips to ensure that you, and the kids you’re sharing the road with, get home safe:
- If possible, do not drive. Better to be safe than sorry.
- If driving is an absolute must, slow down and obey the rules of the road. Exuberant, sugar-fueled children can’t necessarily be trusted to exercise caution, so at all costs avoid speeding, rolling through stop signs, and unnecessarily passing vehicles.
- It should be a given, but if you’ve been drinking, don’t get behind the wheel. People’s lives are at stake.
- Plan your route in advance: use well-lit, pedestrian-light roads, and avoid residential neighborhoods, when possible.
Contact a personal injury lawyer
Everybody deserves a fun and safe Halloween, and by taking reasonable precautions you can help that image become a reality. If, however, the unthinkable should happen and you or someone you love is involved in an accident, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer at Will Davidson LLP.