October 22, 2021

Why Do Car Accidents Increase on Halloween?

Halloween is a festive night for people of all ages. Children may spend the day in holiday mode, wearing a costume, eating sweets, and taking part in Halloween-themed events. Adults may be decorating their homes, carving pumpkins, and wearing a costume themselves.

However, Halloween is also one of the most dangerous days of the year for pedestrian and car accidents. A 2019 Washington Post analysis tracked fatal car accidents involving pedestrians under 18 years old from the period of 2004 to 2018. The study found that 54 of those juvenile pedestrian deaths occurred on Halloween during the 14-year period, as opposed to an average of 16 for any other day of the year in that stretch.

The early evening of Halloween night is the most dangerous time for car accidents. According to 20 years of car accident statistics from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), dating from 1990 to 2010, over 60 percent of fatal Halloween accidents occurred between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Since young trick-or-treaters are distracted, they might not be focused on safety. Worrying about traffic may not be a priority for trick-or-treaters, which is why it is so important that adults are focused and alert.

Halloween Parties

Part of the threat is that many Halloween parties provide opportunities for adults to drink. Whether with children at a family or neighborhood party, many people will attend parties where alcohol is served. In some cases, partygoers will drive home instead of riding with a designated driver or calling a rideshare service. Since many people will be focused on holiday festivities, they might not pay attention to safety precautions.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that over 40 percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents on Halloween nights from 2015 through 2019 involved a drunk driver. These fatal accidents often involve young adult drivers. Drivers between 21 to 34 years old were involved in 62 percent of fatal Halloween night car accidents for that four-year period.

Avoiding a Drunk Driving Accident on Halloween

If you are driving children from neighborhood to neighborhood, you want to remain sober. Alcohol slows reaction times, and adults need to be able to respond quickly to avoid emergencies.

To avoid a drunk driving accident, there are some simple precautions everyone can take, including:

  • Leave the car at home, and use a cab or rideshare service.
  • If you plan to ride with friends, make sure your group has a designated driver.
  • Eat a good meal prior to going out so that your body can handle a moderate amount of alcohol.
  • Take the keys away from friends who consumed too much alcohol. Call a rideshare service or taxi for them.

If you are driving or walking with trick-or-treaters, you should do the following:

  • Stay sober to be able to react quickly when a child runs across the road.
  • Try and get the trick-or-treating done before dark if it is possible.
  • Choose well-lit streets, and walk in the neighborhoods that you know.
  • Try to avoid dark-colored costumes, as they are difficult to see at night.

You can put reflective tape on costumes, or have trick-or-treaters wear glow stick necklaces, bracelets, and anklets that are sold in packages at discount stores. Flashlights are ideal, but many times, children drop them, or they do not work with the costume. Adults, however, should be carrying a good flashlight.

If you cannot talk your trick-or-treater into wearing light-up accessories, reflective tape, or carrying a flashlight, buy a glow-in-the-dark Halloween pail for them.

You should also try and walk with at least one other adult to supervise the trick-or-treating. Staying in a group increases safety.

Remember that accidents happen everywhere, even if you are in your own neighborhood. In fact, many car accidents happen close to home.

What Should I Do if I Encounter a Drunk Driver on Halloween?

Chances of coming across a drunk driver on Halloween are relatively high, given the holiday festivities. If you see a drunk driver on the road, report the driver when it is safe to do so, which is after you have safely pulled to the side of the road and stopped the car.

If you can, try to make note of the make, model, and color of the vehicle. It would be helpful to get the license plate number, but that is not always possible.

Never try to chase down the drunk driver. Instead, report them to authorities. They can safely handle the situation.

Our Car Accident Lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. Handle Drunk Driving Accident Cases

Halloween night is a deadly time for drivers. If you have been injured by a drunk driver, our car accident lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. can help you. Call us at 267-861-7100 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Chester County and Norristown, Pennsylvania.