More than 40 million American kids go out in the dark to trick-or-treat each Halloween and parents often worry about the “boogey men” dangers such as razor blades hidden in candy or a predator lurking in the bush. In truth, however, more kids are injured and killed in car accidents on Halloween than from any other danger. According to Safe Kids USA, children are more than twice as likely to be killed by a car while walking on Halloween night than at any other time of the year. Most of these car accidents occur between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. and in particular during the time the sun is setting when driver visibility is reduced.
Halloween Car Accidents Data
According to Dr. Leticia Manning Ryan – who specializes in pediatric emergency medicine and is an injury researcher at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Maryland – the increase in pedestrian injuries seen on Halloween night is not always the fault of drivers. Children are often wearing masks that reduce their own visibility or loose costumes easy to trip over.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that between 2009 and 2013, 43 percent of all Halloween night car accident deaths were the result of a drunken driving-related crash. The data also showed that in 2013, 26 percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween involved a drunken driver.
On the bright side, there may be slightly less car accidents this Halloween compared to last year which fell on a Saturday. A 2015 report by Alcohol Monitoring Systems showed that when Halloween falls on a Saturday, drinking violations occur at a rate 4.5 times higher compared to the average increase when Halloween falls on any other day of the week.
Other common Halloween accidents
There are plenty of other hazards for parents to watch out for on Halloween. Other common Halloween accidents that parents should watch for:
- Burning sensations or poisonings from breaking open glow sticks. Dr. Henry Spiller, director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s, estimates that about 800 children head to Nationwide Children’s each year for glow stick-related injuries.
- Face paint used for children’s Halloween costumes may cause skin reactions and other injuries. Products made in China have been found to contain heavy metals like lead, nickel, cobalt and chromium, which can be dangerous to children. If lead laced face paint is ingested, it can cause damage to the child over several weeks or months as it slowly travels from the gut into the bloodstream and the brain.
- Burns are also commonly treated on Halloween. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Halloween decorations were the item first ignited in an approximate average of 920 reported home structure fires per year from 2007 to 2011.
- Candy-related injuries are not that common but those that do present are often choking-related incidents. Parents should sort through candy to reduce choking hazards for small children.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an accident or injury, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the justice and compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!