We teach our children to always look both ways before they cross the street, and as adults, we know that we should cross with the crosswalk’s signal. But, how many people forget these safety precautions on the night of Halloween? Trick or treaters of all ages can be found darting across dark streets, and there are those adults that overindulge in drinks and get behind the wheel or head home on foot. Even a simple lapse in judgment can result in a pedestrian or car accident in Kansas City on Halloween.
Why is Halloween So Dangerous for Our Roads?
Halloween falls just around Daylight Savings Time, which means it is completely dark by the time most people head off to celebratory parties. Darkness renders the night spooky and fun, but it also increases the danger on our roads.
Halloween used to be a festive occasion when children would dress up and head out for candy, but it’s also grown into one of the biggest adult partying nights on the calendar. Sadly, this makes for more drunk drivers on the roads and even drunk pedestrians. The combination of darkness, people, and alcohol increases the likelihood of accidents.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, car accidents in Kansas City result in double the amount of pedestrian deaths on Halloween night. Back in 2012, pedestrian fatalities totaled fourteen percent of all traffic fatalities, but on the night of Halloween, pedestrian deaths accounted for 28 percent of all deaths.
While a reported 31 percent of all crash fatalities are reported to involve drunk drivers, on Halloween, more than half of traffic deaths involve a drunk driver behind the wheel.
How Can Pedestrians Avoid Getting Involved in a Halloween Car Accident in Kansas City?
While traveling to and from a costume party or going trick or treating this Halloween, revelers should take the following precautions into consideration:
- Go trick or treating with your child
Parents often wonder when their child will be old enough to go trick or treating without them; the answer may be never since if a child is still young enough to dress up and go door to door for candy, the child is young enough to be accompanied by a responsible adult. For older children, parents can hang back and give them some freedom, but it is better for parents to be there to ensure children adhere to crossing roads safely and that children are always visible to motorists.
- Walk on the sidewalk
Many of our neighborhoods are packed with crowds on Halloween, and it could be tempting to walk in the street to avoid the rush of people. But, this is one surefire way to be involved in a car accident in Kansas City. Keep in mind that the rates of drunk driving are higher during festivities and impaired drivers may not notice pedestrians in the road until it is too late.
- Do not drink and walk
Nearly half of all adult pedestrians who died in 2012 were either at or above our illegal blood alcohol limit for drivers. While many people may think it is better to walk instead of drive after drinking, the safest choice is to ride with a sober friend or take a taxi.
- Always be visible
It does not matter if visibility ruins a costume, trick or treaters of all ages should equip themselves with flashlights and reflectors.
What Can Drivers Do to Prevent a Kansas City Car Accident?
For those people planning to drive this Halloween, take note of the below tips:
- Do not drink and drive
- Report impaired drivers on the road to the police
- Avoid distractions such as texting while behind the wheel
- Slow down in neighborhoods
- Be prepared for people to dart out into the streets
Which Areas Should Pedestrians Be Wary of This Halloween?
Kansas City has a number of areas that attract high pedestrian traffic, especially during the night. The Power and Light District is one example of an area that bustles with crowds of people and non-stop traffic all throughout the day and very late into the evening. Another area, Country Club Plaza, combines entertainment, shopping, and dining that stretches out over 15 blocks and is sure to be crowded on Halloween. Other areas that make for a particularly dangerous combination of people and cars include The Legends, the Truman Sports Complex, Town Center, Leawood, and Old Overland Park.
During the festivities, it can be all too easy for pedestrians to focus on getting to where they want to be without thinking about drivers on the roads who may not be concentrating on the pedestrians, which is why it is up to all of us to be extra-cautious on Halloween night.
Keep in mind, it is not just people out for a good time on Halloween who get hit by cars, but areas like Independence, where there are often residences catching buses and commuting on foot, tend to have a high rate of pedestrian fatalities due to distracted drivers. Remember, these areas are going to be even busier on the festive night, and drivers and pedestrians alike should navigate neighborhoods with caution.
Who is Liable for a Kansas City Car Accident?
Pedestrians or trick or treaters who are hit by a car and hurt may have a case against the driver that caused the car accident in Kansas City. The driver’s insurance, though, may try to deny the claim of the injured party. If a pedestrian was under the influence of alcohol or running to catch up with a group, these actions could work against them unless they have an experienced car accident attorney on their side.
Consult with a Kansas City Car Accident Attorney Today
It is okay to enjoy the fun on Halloween, but it is just as important to take a few extra precautions that could save a life. If you were injured in a car accident on Halloween, contact Krause and Kinsman for a consultation to discuss the way forward.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.