Staying safe should be a top priority on Halloween. October 31st and the days surrounding it are busy for emergency centers and first responders due to house fires, car accidents, and pedestrian collisions. The best thing your family can do is to know how to avoid the most common types of Halloween-related accidents. To reduce your risk of personal injuries during this season, our Mobile personal injury attorneys recommend following this list of Halloween safety tips.
Improve Pedestrian Safety
If you or your children plan on walking around the Mobile neighborhood or anywhere in Baldwin County to trick-or-treat, practice proper pedestrian safety. In 2016, there were nearly 7,330 pedestrians fatalities. Don’t assume you have the right of way or that a driver will see you and stop. Instead, walk cautiously and always look for vehicles before crossing the street. Avoid walking in the road, even if a community has closed the road to traffic. It’s always a possibility that a drunk or reckless driver will ignore barricades and put trick-or-treaters at risk.
Stay visible and predictable while trick-or-treating. Wear a costume with bright, colorful fabric, or attach reflective tape to the costume to improve visibility. Use flashlights or headlamps while walking door to door. Follow the rules of the road as a pedestrian – they still apply on holidays. Stick to sidewalks and pedestrian pathways to stay as safe as possible. Walk against the direction of traffic if you must walk near the road. Do your best to make it easy for motorists to see and avoid your group and never let children trick-or-treat alone. If you or a loved one were a victim in a pedestrian accident, our Mobile pedestrian accident attorneys can help.
Don’t Drive Drunk
Buzzed and intoxicated driving rates increase on holidays, including Halloween. People coming home from Halloween parties may choose to ignore the law and get behind the wheel regardless of how much it might risk the lives of others. From 2012 to 2016, 168 people died in drunk driving accidents on Halloween night. Many of these victims were pedestrians and children. If you’re going out on Halloween, plan a sober and safe ride home ahead of time, either through a trusted friend or a ride service. Just one alcoholic beverage could be enough to impair your ability to drive.
Beware of House Fires
House fires are significant Halloween risks. The U.S. Fire Administration receives an average of 10,100 calls each year over the three-day period around Halloween. From 2014 to 2016, 30 people died and 125 suffered injuries annually in Halloween fires. Most harmful fires occurred outside, followed by residential fires. Residential fires, however, are the deadliest around Halloween.
Stay fire safe by using flame-retardant costumes and Halloween decorations. Avoid using open flames as much as possible, swapping jack-o-lantern candles for battery-powered lights instead. Don’t hang flammable decorations, such as crepe paper, near any sources of heat. Check all electrical cords and outlets for damage before plugging in electric décor. Be careful while cooking in the kitchen, as this is the setting of around 53% of Halloween residential fires.
Inspect Halloween Candy
Make a rule that children cannot eat their Halloween trick-or-treat candy until you inspect it first. Everyone should eat before leaving the house to trick-or-treat to reduce the temptation to eat candy right away. Look at each piece of candy your child receives on Halloween, checking for open wrappers, unwrapped homemade items, or signs of tampering. Make sure children know not to go into strangers’ houses while trick-or-treating, for “more candy,” or to “see costumes better.” Only trick-or-treat in well-lit areas, and within the set timeframe, if your neighborhood has one.
Choose Costumes Wisely
All child costumes should fit well to help prevent trip-and-fall accidents while trick-or-treating. Masks should not impede a child’s vision. Check that all clothing and materials are flame-retardant. If your child uses face or body paint, wash it all off completely before bedtime to help prevent skin irritation.
Stay safe in Mobile and have fun this Halloween by following these safety tips. While some accidents are preventable, others are not. If you or a loved one experienced a personal injury in Mobile due to another’s negligence, the Mobile accident attorneys are here to help. We represent clients throughout Baldwin County, Alabama, helping them pursue the financial security to cope after a personal injury.