According to Safe Kids USA, children who are trick-or-treating on Halloween are twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car than they are on any other night of the year. This year could bring a greater risk as Halloween falls on a Saturday, bringing an increased danger of drunk drivers being out on the road. Wrongful death lawyers in Chicago want to warn parents to take additional cautionary steps to protect their children this Halloween.
The Motor Vehicle Accident Problem
Safe Kids USA reports that most children who are struck and killed by motorists on Halloween are hit between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. Part of the problem is that dusk falls during those hours, making it more difficult for drivers to see children. Drivers who are inattentive, speeding or who have been drinking may be at fault in causing the accidents. In some cases, children may not see oncoming cars because of wearing masks. Some may also trip on costumes that are loose-fitting.
Alcohol Monitoring Systems reports that drunk-driving offenses increase by 4.5 times when Halloween falls on a Saturday night, making them especially problematic when combined with trick-or-treating children who are on foot. Forty-three percent of traffic fatalities that happened on Halloween between 2009 and 2013 were the result of drunk-driving crashes. In 2013, 26 percent of Halloween pedestrian deaths resulted from drunk driving.
In addition to higher risks of being struck and killed by cars, children also face risks from other things on Halloween. Some parents try to make their children more visible by placing glow sticks around their wrists or necks. Some children have been seriously injured when they drink the fluid contained in the glowsticks. People are also sometimes burned by Halloween decorations that cause fires, such as candles placed inside of pumpkins. Between 2007 and 2011, an average of six people was killed by fires caused by Halloween decorations.
What Parents Might Do
Reducing the risk of injury or death on Halloween is important. Parents might want to take their children to indoor trick-or-treating events instead of allowing them to wander unsupervised along the streets. If children are trick-or-treating along a street, it is best if a parent walks along with them. While wrongful death lawyers in Chicago may help families of victims, it is best to prevent accidents from happening in the first place if at all possible.