Halloween is a fun and exciting time for children and families all across Tampa Bay. However, drivers are urged to be mindful of the additional road risks involved on this fun-filled night and are encouraged to take precautions to prevent an unnecessary accident from happening. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Halloween is one of the top three days for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that children are four times more likely to be struck by a motor vehicle on Halloween than any other day of the year. These statistics, along with the fact that Halloween falls on a Saturday, makes for a very scary combination.
INCREASED PEDESTRIAN CAR ACCIDENTS
AAA has offered some helpful tips to keep our trick-or-treaters safe this Halloween:
- Obey all traffic signs and signals and drive below the posted speed limit while traveling through residential neighborhoods. Allow extra time to react to excited children who may dart into the street.
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. Trick-or-treaters are often dressed in dark costumes, and they will be harder to see at night.
- Be mindful of children crossing the street. They may not be paying close attention to traffic.
- Drive carefully when entering and exiting driveways and alleys.
- Use your headlights (even in the daylight) to make your vehicle more visible.
- Avoid distractions while driving—do not text and drive and avoid making/receiving phone calls.
- Do not drink and drive! The NHTSA reported that, on Halloween in 2012, nearly 50% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities involved an intoxicated driver. This statistic is likely to increase when the holiday occurs on a weekend.
Parents should be proactive to keep their trick-or-treaters safe:
- The most dangerous hour on Halloween is between 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
- Children under age 12 should trick-or-treat with a supervising adult. Older children should always trick-or-treat with a group.
- Instruct children to only stop at well-lit houses and to never enter a stranger’s home or garage.
- Be bright at night! Increase your visibility by wearing flashing buttons, bracelets or necklaces, or by placing reflective tape on costumes or treat buckets.
- Stay on the sidewalks and avoid walking in the streets, if possible.
- Remember to look both ways and to listen for traffic before crossing the street.
- Do not text and walk! Stay alert and focus on your children and traffic.
The Capaz Law Firm wishes you all a safe, fun and happy Halloween! If you or a loved one are involved in a pedestrian car accident, contact the Capaz Law Firm to speak with an experienced Tampa accident lawyer.