While Halloween is not an official federal holiday, it is one of the most widely celebrated days in the country. Each year, millions of children and grown-ups mark the season with spooky lawn decorations, imaginative costumes, and, of course, trick-or-treating. However, it only takes a moment for the fun to take a tragic turn, especially for young ghosts and goblins. In fact, children are more than twice as likely to be seriously injured or killed by a car on Halloween than at any other time of year, according to the National Safety Council.
The good news is that following simple safety protocols can help everyone enjoy the holiday and avoid the hazards. Here are several valuable tips along with some little-known fun facts about Halloween.
To learn about the wackiest Halloween laws in the country, click here.
SCARY HALLOWEEN STATISTICS
While Halloween candy should be inspected before eating, automobiles pose a far greater danger to young trick-or-treaters. The risk of pedestrian deaths is 43 percent higher on Halloween than on nights during the weeks before and after October 31, according to a study in JAMA Pediatrics, a monthly publication of the American Medical Association.
According to the research, an average of four additional pedestrians were struck and killed by cars on Halloween, the majority of which were children between the ages of four and eight.
The most dangerous time was between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., with the highest risk around 6 p.m.
Recommended reading: New Michigan Law Prohibits Hand-Held Cell Phones
HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS FOR DRIVERS
When Halloween falls on a weekday, the prime period for trick-or-treating coincides with rush hour. Therefore, drivers should be extra cautious during this time, especially around 6 p.m. when the risk of a pedestrian accident is greatest.
Here are some tips:
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully
- Watch for children wearing dark clothing at dusk and after dark
- Dissuade new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween
- Be particularly careful in residential areas without sidewalks or adequate lighting
- Avoid distractions such as cell phones, loud music or other electronic devices
- Turn on headlights earlier than usual
Recommended reading: Pedestrian Deaths Hit a Horrific New High
SAFETY TIPS FOR TRICK-OR-TREATERS AND ADULTS
- When crossing streets, look both ways and wait for cars to stop, even if you have the right of way
- Use designated crosswalks when possible
- Watch for cars entering or backing out of driveways
- Use flashlights on streets without sufficient lighting or sidewalks
- Explain the dangers of texting or other distractions when walking and be a positive example
- Make sure young children are accompanied by a trusted adult or teen
- Encourage older children to trick-or-treat in a group and stay together
- Teach kids never to enter the home or car of someone they do not know
Recommended reading: Is it Important to Obtain a Police Report After a Michigan Car Accident?
AVOID ACCIDENTS BY SAFEGUARDING YOUR HOME FOR TRICK-OR-TREATERS
- Make sure the front walk and porch are free from tripping hazards such as toys, bikes and piles of leaves
- Turn on outdoor lights and replace any burnt-out bulbs
- Keep dogs and other pets inside and away from the door when trick-or-treaters come
- Do not put candlelit pumpkins or other decorations on the porch or lawn
Recommended reading: Michigan Supreme Court Rules to Hold Landlords and Property Owners More Accountable for Slip and Fall Accidents
COSTUME SAFETY TIPS FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES
- Make sure costumes are the right length to avoid tripping and falling
- Use flame-retardant materials if possible
- Decorate dark costumes, jackets and trick-or-treat bags with reflective tape or armbands
- Avoid masks or large hats that obscure vision
- Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to increase visibility
- Do not carry sharp or potentially dangerous accessories such as sticks, canes or long swords
EXAMINE TREATS FOR TAMPERED TREATS, ALLERGENS AND CHOKING HAZARDS
Although it happens rarely, a few malicious people use the holiday to cause harm to others. Therefore, parents should inspect all treats their children bring home before anyone partakes. Discard any items that are unwrapped or suspicious-looking.
In addition, if anyone in the household has food allergies, remove items containing allergens.
Finally, if you have babies and toddlers, remove treats that can pose a choking hazard, including hard candies, small items such as jelly beans, nuts and gum as well as stickers, temporary tattoos, candy wrappers and small toys.
FUN HALLOWEEN FACTS
- Halloween originated as an ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain, which took place in England and Ireland on November 1
- Approximately 600 million pounds of candy are purchased each Halloween season
- Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday in the U.S. following Christmas
- A record $12.2 billion in revenue will be generated this year, up from $10.6 billion in 2022, according to the National Retail Federation
- The world’s largest jack-o’-lantern weighed 2,684 pounds, 2 ounces, confirmed by the Guiness World Records at the 49th Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, California on Oct. 10, 2022
OUR EXPERIENCED ACCIDENT LAWYERS FIGHT TO WIN THE COMPENSATION YOU DESERVE
You’re never too old to enjoy Halloween, and we wish everyone a safe and treat-filled holiday. However, if you or a loved one is injured in an accident, whether it involves an automobile or a slip and fall on someone else’s property, we can help. Our knowledgeable lawyers know what it takes to build a winning case, and we have the expertise and resources to make sure you receive the compensation you and your family deserve.
Accident law is complicated, but finding the right personal injury lawyer is simple.
Don’t let the legal clock run out. To get your case started, fill out the brief form below or call 1-800-CALL-SAM for a free, no-obligation remote consultation with a member of our skilled legal team.