Texas Pedestrian Accidents Jump 23% During Halloween
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, statistics show that pedestrian-related accidents are most likely to occur after 6 p.m. and on weekends. Children under the age of 13 are hit by motor vehicles more often than any other age group. One of the most common child pedestrian-related accidents occurs when a child “darts out” into a street from between parked cars. In addition, the invention of hybrid and quieter running vehicles makes it more difficult for pedestrians to hear vehicles approaching, especially when there is a lot of noise in the area or there are other distractions.
All of these contributing factors could explain the 23 percent increase in pedestrian-related accident insurance claims in Texas on Halloween. During Halloween, many more pedestrians are obviously out after 6 p.m. for trick-or-treating. And, the majority of trick-or-treaters are under the age of 13. The very nature of trick-or-treating means that children are running up and down the street from house to house, quite often between and around parked cars. Between the sugar rush and the excitement of filling their bags with candy as fast as they can, children are not paying attention to other things, including cars. Even the adults accompanying them are, at times, more distracted by watching their children run from house to house, looking around at all the cute costumes, or texting while waiting for their children to finish. With all of these distractions, it is more difficult for pedestrians to hear and see approaching vehicles.
On Halloween night, it can be difficult for drivers to see pedestrians. It's dark, and children and adults “dart out” into the street wearing dark costumes, often distracted by other things. Drivers and pedestrians are both often distracted and not as alert as usual. Knowing the statistics and the cause for the rise in Halloween insurance claims, there are many precautions both drivers and pedestrians can take in order to lower this rate.
Increasing alertness and decreasing distractions is probably the best solution. To decrease distractions, drivers can lower the volume on the radio, drive slower and keep their focused attention to the possibility of pedestrians. Likewise, pedestrians should make themselves visible by wearing reflective clothing, walking in groups and staying in open areas. Taking pictures or texting should not be done while walking or driving. In both instances, if you're going to text, you need to come to a stop in a safe location. Whether walking or driving, you cannot see where you are going if you're focused on texting. Ultimately, it is both the drivers' and the pedestrians' responsibility to be alert and aware of the other while trick-or-treating on Halloween night.