As temperatures start to drop, people start thinking about spooky season. Halloween is many people’s favorite holiday, although children tend to have a universal love for trick-or-treating even if Christmas is their favorite holiday.
The creepy decorations on your neighbor’s house, the cute costumes and the festive atmosphere on the street on Halloween (or on the designated night for trick-or-treating), will bring hundreds of people out of their homes and help turn a neighborhood into a community through pranks, generosity and mutual appreciation.
Unfortunately, Halloween can be a scary time, especially if you find yourself on the road in your car. The risk of a pedestrian crash goes up significantly on Halloween when there are trick-or-treaters out on the road.
Information gathered over decades shows how the risk on the roads rises
An analysis of 42 years’ worth of crash data shows that, on average, the risk for pedestrian fatality is 43% higher on Halloween than on an average day. The most obvious reason for pedestrian crashes increasing on Halloween night is that there are hundreds more people on the street than there usually would be.
Additionally, children excited by the process of trick-or-treating often fail to follow basic safety rules, like waiting before they cross the road. They might run right out in front of a vehicle, which is even more dangerous if their outfit is dark.
Even adults can wind up involved in Halloween pedestrian crashes. Some people hand out treats for the adults too, like jello shots, meaning that intoxicated individuals could stumble into the street. Alcohol is one of the most common contributing factors to pedestrian crashes involving adults.
How can you stay safe when driving on Halloween?
Obviously, the best solution to avoiding a crash on a high-risk day is to recognize the risk and avoid driving if possible. You can choose to go outside and join the festivities or hand out candy at home instead of going to the movies or driving to a party.
If you do drive, trying to stay on major streets rather than driving through neighborhoods could reduce your risk of a tragic encounter with a pedestrian. Turning on your headlights even before it gets dark, driving a little bit slower and avoiding all distractions when you drive on Halloween could also help.
Knowing that certain days have bigger risks for motor vehicle collisions than others can help you and the people you love to stay a little bit safer.