OTTAWA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER – Two years ago a lawyer friend of ours from Louisville, Kentucky, personal injury lawyer Michael Shafer, wrote an excellent blog post about Hallowe’en safety. We have taken the liberty of reproducing it here for all our trick-or-treating friends…
As we look back on our trick-or-treating days I can remember the excitement. It was a magical night that is looked to as one of the most anticipated nights of the year. Children get to dress up and get candy. So many aspects have children looking forward to this day more than any other. What kind of costume to wear, which houses have the best candy and how to convince parents to let them stay out later.
Halloween is also the night when the number pedestrian fatalities quadruple. Kids dressed in dark costumes with masks that may cover their eyes coupled with the excitement of the night may lead to disaster. The [US Department of Transporation] shows that:
* Fatal collisions between motor vehicles and young pedestrians (under 15 years of age) happen most frequently between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. – prime trick-or-treating time.
* 84% of deaths among young pedestrians occurred at non-intersection locations (indicating children are most likely to dart and dash from mid-block into the street).
Halloween is also dangerous because of the number of parties that take place. Of all the highway fatalities that take place on Halloween two-thirds of them are alcohol related. The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety has issued tips for safe driving on this dangerous night:
* Don’t use a cell phone while driving through neighborhoods. A single distraction could lead to a tragedy.
* Stay well below the posted speed limit.
* Pay attention to what’s happening on sidewalks and roadways. Watch for children darting across streets, especially between parked cars.
* Be extra alert when pulling in and out of driveways.
* Do not assume children can see you or are paying attention. You need to take that responsibility.
* Drivers should also check that all lights on their car work.
* Do not pass other vehicles that have stopped in the roadway. They could be dropping off children.
* If you’re driving a group of children, but staying in the running vehicle at the curb, be sure to put on your hazard lights to alert other motorists.
* And if you’re driving to a Halloween party, put that mask on after you park the car.
Also a few tips for parents to help drivers on Halloween night:
* Make sure drivers can see the children. Give them flashlights and glow sticks. Dress kids in bright, reflective clothing or use reflective tape on their costumes.
* Use makeup, rather than masks, so children have a clear, unobstructed view of their surroundings.
* Be sure children know how to cross a street — look left, right and left again before crossing.
* Instruct children to stay on sidewalks and to cross only at corners or crosswalks.
* Accompany your children as they trick or treat.
Watch out for ghosts, goblins and skeletons on Halloween. Safety is paramount any night but especially on All Hallows Eve. Have a safe Halloween.
We thank Mike Shafer for this important message. You can visit his website here.