A Maine car accident lawyer explains how to prevent injury
Children look forward to trick-or-treating every Halloween. But it’s also important for children, parents, and drivers to take steps to avoid a car accident involving children or adults walking at night on Halloween. Statistically, children are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween night than any other time of the year, according to Safe Kids.
And even after the holiday is over, people need to be alert when walking at night, especially since the daylight hours get shorter and earlier this time of year, as Daylight Saving Time ends on Nov. 7, 2021.
Recently, the National Safety Council put together a list of suggested tips to avoid getting hurt while trick-or-treating as well as how to stay safe when walking or driving at night this time of year. It’s also important for accident victims and their families to understand the legal options available to them when they’ve been injured.
Accidents that happen at night
Nighttime can be a dangerous time for pedestrians any time of year. One out of four pedestrian accidents (25 percent) happen between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The second most dangerous time for pedestrians is from 9 p.m. to midnight, when 24 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur.
And while any time of year can be dangerous for pedestrians, the three most dangerous months of the year are October, November, and December, when 10 percent of pedestrian accidents happen each month, according to the IIHS.
Nighttime safety tips for parents and children
Parents taking their children trick-or-treating or walking at night this fall can take the following steps to avoid being hit by a car:
- Have an adult accompany children under 12 years old at all times while they’re trick-or-treating.
- Wear bright, reflective clothing so drivers can see you.
- Carry a flashlight so you can see where you’re going and so drivers can see you.
- Make sure the street you’re walking on has sidewalks.
- Only cross the street in well-lit areas, preferably at a crosswalk, and avoid running across the street.
- When using a crosswalk with a “WALK” signal, wait to cross the street until the traffic signal indicates it’s safe to walk.
The above safety tips don’t just apply to Halloween, as the suggestions can be especially helpful for children and adults walking after school or after work this time of year. That’s because more fatal accidents happen between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. from October to March due to less daylight, according to the National Safety Council.
Safety tips for drivers
Trick-or-treaters and other pedestrians aren’t the only ones that should take steps to avoid being involved in an accident. Drivers have a responsibility to share the road and make sure they don’t cause a pedestrian accident. Such steps involve drivers:
- Slowing down when approaching a crosswalk or other areas that are frequently used by pedestrians.
- Cleaning the car’s windshield and windows so the driver can see clearly, especially at night.
- Cleaning the car’s headlights and making sure they’re pointed in the right direction. If you’re not sure how to properly align your vehicle’s headlights, ask your mechanic to check and make sure they’re properly aligned so you can clearly see people walking alongside the road or crossing the street.
Legal help is available to accident victims in Maine
Even when pedestrians take precautions to stay safe, accidents can still occur due to the reckless actions of negligent motorists. In the past decade alone, the number of pedestrian deaths nationwide has skyrocketed and increased by 51 percent between 2010 and 2019, according to an IIHS analysis.
If you or a loved one were hit by a car, you can potentially seek compensation from the at-fault driver for your medical bills, lost wages, your pain and suffering, and other damages associated with the accident.
Make an appointment with a personal injury attorney so you can make an informed decision about your legal options. At the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein, our attorneys have years of experience handling complex legal cases, and we know how to fight for maximum financial compensation.