The dangers of Halloween
On behalf of Harry Dorian
Halloween can be a dangerous night for trick-or-treaters due to factors such as unsafe costumes, distracted drivers and a lack of visibility.
For many people in Pennsylvania, Halloween conjures lovely memories of colorful leaves, chilly weather, creative costumes and delicious candy. However, there is no denying that it can be a dangerous time of the year for little pedestrians. In fact, the risk of a child being hit and killed by a car can more than double. Here is a look at why Halloween is so dangerous for children who trick-or-treat.
Often, the risks start with unsafe costumes. They may look amazing, but many masks obstruct field of vision. So, a child who tries to look both ways before crossing the street may still not see a car coming. A long costume poses a tripping hazard, both for its wearer and for others nearby. Also, dark costumes are less visible.
Lack of visibility
Speaking of a lack of visibility, some efforts to make children more noticeable to drivers can backfire. For example, the liquid inside glow sticks is dangerous. Children who swallow it or accidentally splash it on their face may need treatment.
Of course, the answer is not to forego visibility measures. Rather, children can carry flashlights and wear costumes with reflective tape.
When children get together, they tend to be more boisterous and active than if they were alone. Combine that with sugar, and many children are more likely to behave unpredictably on Halloween. For instance, they may dart into the street without checking that it is clear.
Then there are the distracted drivers, often parents who are chauffeuring their kids from one neighborhood to another. Maybe the shrieks of children in the car distract them, or they are just plain bored from all of the waiting and check their phone often while driving. However, Halloween is certainly a time when drivers need to be as attentive as possible.
In this vein, parents should make sure that their children are always buckled in even if the car is only traveling a block at a low speed. For one thing, other cars could be traveling more quickly. For another, a rear-end collision, even at a low speed, can result in devastating injuries.
Alcohol plays a role in some of the risks Halloween poses. Walking parents may drink as they supervise their trick-or-treaters. These parents could be less likely to notice or care if their children run ahead of them and dart into the street. Some parents may drink and drive too.
People, ranging in age from teens to senior citizens, attend Halloween parties. Some might drink at a party and drive home. It is a risk that goes up many times when Halloween is on a Friday or Saturday.
Halloween should make for a fun night in Pennsylvania. However, that does not always happen, and an attorney can help with the search for compensation if necessary.