Halloween is supposed to be spooky, but fun — not outright scary and dangerous. Unfortunately, there are a lot of grownups out there with drivers’ licenses that don’t behave responsibly behind the wheel.
Halloween is actually a fairly big “drinking holiday” among adults — and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that there are more fatal car crashes involving drunk drivers on Halloween night than there are on New Year’s Eve. Plus, children are twice as likely to die after being struck by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
What can you do to keep everybody safer?
NHTSA has offered some tips for parents and their families that might help you avoid a pedestrian-vehicle accident while trick-or-treating:
- Stay sober yourself. If you’re walking the kids around for treats, you can reward yourself with a hot toddy or some spiked apple cider when you get home — not before. You need to be alert on your travels.
- Make yourself (and your kids) as visible as possible. An orange pumpkin basket and bright-colored clothing is a start — but it’s not enough. Get some bendable glow sticks and make sure the kids wear them as bracelets, use reflective tape on the back of their costumes and carry a flashlight or two as you go.
- Use sidewalks whenever possible. If you have options, pick a neighborhood that has plenty of sidewalks you can use. That will minimize the amount of time you have to step into the street.
- Use crosswalks. Do not allow your kids to cut through the middle of the street to get to another home with its lights on — even if it is quicker. Crosswalks are a far safer option.
No matter what you do, there’s no guarantee that you won’t end up the victim of a drunk driver. If that happens, take immediate action to protect your health — and your right to compensation for your losses.