Halloween drunk driving car accidentHalloween activities should involve light-hearted fun and maybe a little too much candy. What should Halloween NOT involve? Tragic real-life nightmare accidents, long-lasting injuries, or devastating losses. Halloween is a holiday that is celebrated in many different ways, by people of all ages. No age group is really immune from being injured in DUI accidents and pedestrian accidents on Halloween. 

This year, Halloween (October 31st) falls on a Sunday, and lots of people in Southern California will go to parties and participate in Halloween activities the Friday and Saturday before. If you or your children will be going out on Halloween, or going to a party in the days leading up to Halloween, it is important to understand how to stay safe. There are many ways you can reduce your risk of accident or injury on Halloween, such as: 

  • Educating children on pedestrian safety at night
  • Making transportation plans that involve a sober driver 
  • Planning to stay home and off the road altogether

This article will discuss the realities of Halloween, and the risks of trick-or-treating at night and attending parties on Halloween weekend. 

 

Drunk Driving Statistics on Halloween and other Holidays

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that on Halloween nights from 2013-2017, 158 people died as a result of drunk-driving crashes. Of these accidents, 42% involved at least one driver under the influence. Each of these fatal accidents was entirely preventable. 

Historically, the biggest holidays for drunk driving accidents are New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, and Memorial Day. Halloween is another holiday where people get together and may drink alcohol or even take recreational drugs. Unfamiliar Halloween cocktails with fun names like Witch’s Brew or VooDoo punch may be loaded with sugar and undetectable amounts of rum or vodka.  In a short time, a few of these cocktails can make you slightly or very drunk. 

It is common on holidays to gather with family and friends. Alcohol is often in the mix, and in group environments, people may drink more than they would normally. Without planning, individuals may find themselves in a situation where they then get in a car and drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The NHTSA strives to remind drivers that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving. For some drivers, even one alcoholic beverage may be too much. 

One of the best ways to reduce risk on holidays is to have a plan to get home safely (or stay overnight at a safe location). If you know you will be drinking, an Uber or Lyft rideshare can easily and cost-effectively get you to your destination and home again. Alternatively, a pre-planned “designated driver” can remain sober and safely drive your group around. The MADD Motto is worth remembering: “If you drink, don’t drive. And if you drive, don’t drink.”

 

The Scary Facts about Children and Pedestrian Accidents on Halloween 

As small pedestrians, children are especially vulnerable to accidents, injuries, and deaths on Halloween. According to SafeKids.org, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Although this fact is scary, appropriately sharing this information with children can be an important reminder to them to not act unpredictably in traffic, and stop before crossing the road and make sure drivers see them. 

Parents should consider costume design and visibility if children will be trick-or-treating in the dark. Pedestrians wearing dark clothing are always harder to see than pedestrians wearing lighter clothing or reflective safety gear. 

 

Tips for Motorists on Halloween

If you will be going out to a Halloween party on Halloween weekend or taking little ones trick-or-treating, make plans to stay safe.  The National Safety Council recommends drivers traveling on Halloween weekend: 

  • Keep an eye out for children walking along roadways, medians, and curbs.
  • Enter, exit, and travel through driveways and alleys with caution.
  • When visibility is reduced in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
  • Discourage teenage or inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween. 

Drivers should always eliminate distractions in their vehicles. Cell phones are one of the biggest distractions. Especially when driving in areas where many people are walking on foot, keeping your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel is critical. 

 

Contact an Experienced Orange County Car Accident Attorney 

If you are involved in an accident caused by the negligence of another—on Halloween or any other day—contact the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates. You don’t have to face the uncertainties of an insurance claim or your future alone. Our experienced Orange County personal injury attorneys can help you understand your rights and get the justice you deserve. With multiple offices located in Irvine, Anaheim, Los Angeles, El Segundo, Riverside and San Diego, our car accident lawyers represent injured victims across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation, please call 949-727-9300.

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