Halloween is a night full of spooky fun for children and adults… but you may be surprised to learn the scariest part of the holiday. It’s not ghosts or goblins – it’s the additional danger Florida drivers face for accidents and injuries.
Many people don’t realize that Halloween is a major day for car crashes, but it makes sense if you think about it. Several factors are involved:
- More than 41 million trick-or-treaters are out on streets in the United States. That’s a high potential for pedestrian accidents.
- Over 58 million adults plan to host or attend a Halloween party. That creates a scenario for a lot of drinking, and many drunk-driving-related accidents.
- From 2011 to 2015, 45 percent of all Halloween traffic fatalities involved a drunk driver.
- For pedestrian fatalities, 23% involve a drunk driver.
- Drinking violations rise 19 percent on Halloween, and 80 percent the Saturday before Halloween.
What to Watch Out for on Halloween to Avoid an Accident
Since so many extra pedestrians are on the streets, it’s important to practice good driving habits that evening. One report states that children who are walking on Halloween are two times more likely to be killed in a car crash as compared to any other day of the year. You absolutely need to be on high alert if you’re going to be out on the road.
Here are several tips to consider:
- Children are unpredictable in their walking habits. They may dart out between vehicles or cross between parked cars. You’ll need to slow down and pay more attention.
- This is a night to drive with extra caution. Enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully. Don’t rush through stop signs or crosswalks.
- Turn on your headlights earlier than normal to increase your visibility to both pedestrians and other drivers.
- Don’t drive distracted. Put down your phone, don’t eat while driving, and don’t fiddle with the radio controls. Pay more attention to the road than your conversation. It’s not worth the risk of injury to another person or yourself.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that drunk driving crashes with fatalities happen three times more often on Halloween than on New Year’s Eve. Since alcohol is involved in so many Halloween accidents, don’t become another statistic. Designate a sober driver before the party begins. Call for a cab or a ride from a friend. Or choose to skip drinking on this night that is already so prone to accidents.
- If you’re staying in on Halloween but partying the Saturday before, it’s important to keep tabs on your drinking that evening as well. You may indulge when you wouldn’t normally do so, and if you do, you could cause an accident. Have a plan in place so the unthinkable doesn’t happen.
Remember – Other Drivers Can Hit You on Halloween, Too
While Halloween pedestrian accidents tend to get the most attention, keep in mind that other types of accidents increase as well. A high number of adults like to celebrate the holiday as well, and their version of “trick or treat” tends to involve dancing and drinking with friends rather than going house-to-house for candy.
Because of this, there will likely be lots of people driving that night or on the weekend before, and many of them may be distracted, in a rush, or already a little bit tipsy (or worse). While you’re keeping an eye out for kids, make sure you watch for other drivers as well to keep yourself safe.
Of course, sometimes no matter what you do an accident occurs. If you or your child is injured in a car accident this Halloween, don’t wait to call a compassionate Florida injury attorney. They will be able to listen to your story and explain the options available to you.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.