Early darkness and Halloween are a dangerous time of year for pedestrian accidents, particularly those involving younger children in residential neighborhoods. The most dangerous time is right at dusk.
But our Fort Myers injury lawyers know Halloween is also a time of year of increased accident and injury risks from other causes. Defective product injuries increase around Halloween and remain elevated through the long holiday gift-giving season. Injuries on private property, drunk driving collisions, and an increasing number of injury incidents at organized events, including the well-publicized tragedy at the 2015 Zombicon in downtown Fort Myers, have made Halloween among the most dangerous times of the year.
Halloween Pedestrian Safety
When it comes to child safety, ghosts and goblins are the least of our worries. Fort Myers and Cape Coral safety advocates are reminding motorists and parents that preparing their child with safety knowledge and know-how can go a long way toward keeping them safe after dark. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ Halloween Safety campaign urges motorists to slow down and motorists, children and parents to use caution and stay alert.
- Stay alert. Excited children dressed in black running throughout Southwest Florida neighborhoods can be a recipe for disaster. Don’t just expect children out during your community’s trick-or-treat and for Halloween night. Neighborhood and private events, and kids being kids, will have children out after dark through the end of the month.
- Slow Down. Always yield to pedestrians. Expect children, whose vision may be obstructed, to wander into your lane of traffic.
- Be cautious. Don’t forget to teach children “stop, look, and listen” before they cross the street. Motorists should expect children to cross mid-block.
Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral agree there are a number of steps children, parents and caregivers can take to reduce their risks. However, careless and inattentive motorists are primarily to blame. Accident liability on the part of the victim will not preclude a case for injury damages, particularly when the victim is a child.
Halloween Parent Safety Tips
The Florida Halloween Safety campaign also offers a number of tips to parents and caregivers:
- Be seen. Light colored costumes, glo sticks, flashlights, reflectors and other visual safety aids are critical, even before dark.
- Prevent falling or tripping hazards. Walk. Use sidewalks and lighted walkways. If possible, plan your route beforehand. Don’t wear costumes or footwear that create a fall or trip hazard.
- Vision is vital. Maintain your vision and ensure a child’s costume does not obstruct vision.
- Always use the crosswalks and sidewalks available. Obeying pedestrian laws is always important, and a critical safety measure to teach your children. But it is particularly important after dark or when holidays or events create extra excitement and extra risks.
- Focus and avoid distractions. This is particularly true for drivers. Distraction reduces reaction time and reaction time is critical to preventing collisions, particularly those involving walkers or other unexpected obstacles. However, children must also not let the excitement get the best of them by avoiding distraction and remembering safety rules.
- Make sure drivers see you. Pedestrians should always make eye contact with a driver and make sure they are seen before proceeding into the roadway.
By committing to safety this Halloween season, you can help prevent a needless tragedy.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.