framingham personal injury attorneyHalloween is a highly anticipated celebration that is held on October 31st every year. Whether you are a kid or an adult, everyone can enjoy Halloween. Some of the most popular activities on Halloween include costumes, Trick-or-Treating, pumpkin carving and Halloween costume parties. These activities are all very fun, but Halloween can present some dangerous situations.

The MetroWest Daily News reported that a recent research found a 43% higher risk of pedestrian deaths on Halloween night than on other nights near that date. This is why everyone needs to make sure to be extra cautious on Halloween.

Aside from Being Fun, Halloween Night Can be Dangerous

We all know about Trick-or-Treating. It’s a common ritual of Halloween night where kids get dressed up in their costumes and go from house to house collecting candy in neighborhoods. It is something nearly everyone takes part in all over America and what kids look forward to most on Halloween. While it is almost always a lot of fun for kids and parents, there are some risks and dangers that we all need to be aware of.

A recent research published this week and reported by the MetroWest Daily News found a 43% higher risk of pedestrian deaths on Halloween. The study researched four decades of traffic data in the United States. The research revealed 608 pedestrian deaths over the course of 42 Halloweens.

Researchers compared data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on pedestrian deaths on Halloween nights with reported deaths on two evenings the week before and the week after. The research revealed that on average, four more people are killed in car vs. pedestrian accidents on Halloween than on other days. The research also concluded that kids aged 4 to 8 faced the highest risks.

Tips to Keep Yourself and Your Loved Ones Safe on Halloween

Halloween is a very fun and enjoyable occasion for children and adults. So, take the time to review the following safety tips to try and avoid any unfortunate accidents and keep you and your family safe.

Be An Extra Cautious Driver on Halloween: This first one is for drivers. Trick-or-Treating hours vary from town to town, but generally they are done in the later evening hours between 5:30 pm and 9:30 pm. At this time of year, the sun goes down early, and it is almost completely dark when children begin Trick-or-Treating. We all know that children will be out at this time and will be wearing costumes. Some costumes are dark and difficult to see at night. Also, young children are extremely excited on Halloween, and most are probably digging into their candy. This means that they are most likely even more excited from all the sugar and even more unpredictable. So, drivers must be extra caution behind the wheel. Be sure to slow down in residential neighborhoods. Try to avoid distractions while driving and take an extra second or two to look twice before turning or enter intersections. And, most importantly, don’t drink and drive.

Adults – Keep an Eye on Your Children: As stated above, the excitement and added sugar from all the candy the kids are getting will make children act erratic and unpredictable on Halloween night. They are so excited that they run from house to house and sometimes they are not observant of the traffic. Some children may just run out into the road and not think about what they’ve been taught (to look both ways before crossing). This is why adults should accompany their children when Trick-or-Treating. Before Trick-or-Treating, parents and adults should talk to their children and remind them that in addition to having fun, to be cautions while walking around at night. Remind the kids to look both ways before crossing the street, to use the sidewalks, to cross streets at corners, and use traffic signals and crosswalks where available. Most importantly (especially based upon the recent research mentioned above) make sure your kids know to watch out for cars.

Make Sure Costumes are Creative but also Safe: Ahh, costumes are probably the most exciting things for kids on Halloween. My kids absolutely love getting dressed up for Halloween. They have been all sorts of things over the years, such as Spiderman, Police Officer, and a Princess. Some of these costumes have masks that may make it hard to see at night. Before going out Trick-or-Treating, make sure your kids not only look great, but are dressed safely. Some recommendations are to use face pain rather than a mask. It is also a great idea to put reflective tape or stickers on your child, which will make them easier to see by drivers. You should give your children a flashlight or a glow stick to use when they are walking around stock piling candy. The flashlights and glow sticks will help drivers see the kids, so they can slow down and avoid any unnecessary and unfortunate accidents.

While there are many other tips that we should all follow on Halloween night, the above tips are some very important ones. Most of all, we should all use common-sense while out with our kids tonight. Make sure you and your children are safe tonight and let Halloween be what it is supposed to be: FUN!

Our Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help Pedestrians Injured By Negligent Drivers

Sometimes, no matter how careful we are accidents can happen. No one every expects to be hit by a car on Halloween. But, if you, or a loved one, has been hit and injured by a car in Massachusetts, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Most car vs. pedestrian accidents result in very serious injuries.  This means extremely high medical bills and, sometimes, devastating injuries. An experienced accident lawyer can assess your case, locate and determine all negligent or responsible parties and protect your rights. Most importantly, an injury attorney can make sure they get you the compensation and reimbursement you deserve for your losses and injuries.

Insurance companies are tough on pedestrian accidents, especially on Halloween. They will assert clever defenses blaming the children Trick-or-Treating or their dark costumes to protect their drivers and insureds. These tactics allow the insurance company to either deny a claim entirely or argue that the Trick-or-Treater was contributorily negligent so they can reduce any amount of money they may be responsible to pay.

The Framingham personal injury firm, Mahaney & Pappas, LLP has decades of experience handling personal injury claims, including pedestrian accidents.  If you or someone you love was involved in an accident on Halloween, feel free to contact us online or call (508) 879-3500 to schedule your free case review today. We will help answer your questions and make sure your rights are protected. 

Charles S. Pappas
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Massachusetts injury lawyer & workers' compensation attorney serving accident victims in Webster & Framingham.
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