It’s that time of year again when the nights get darker, the air gets crisp, and the leaves turn a golden brown. Halloween is a night of spooks and scares filled with pumpkin carving, silly costumes and far too many sweets. However, with more people out and about over Halloween heading to fancy dress parties or out trick-or-treating, the various hazards could turn your night into a real-life horror movie.
According to data analysed by Churchill Car Insurance, the risk for young trick-or-treaters being hit by a car greatly increases during the Halloween period. October 31st sees a higher number of children aged 10 and under being hit by cars on Britain’s roads than at any other point during the four-week period around Halloween.
Tragically, road traffic incidents increase by 75% compared to the rest of the month, with 49 child pedestrians involved in road traffic accidents on Halloween in 2019. This is near twice the average number for the two weeks before and after Halloween (17th October to 14th November).
We would advise parents to be extra vigilant when letting their children go trick-or-treating and to ensure that they are always accompanied, especially when leaving the house after dark. It is not just children who are at risk on Halloween either, as there is an average of 295 accidents involving adults on this day every year, which is 12 per cent higher than the annual average.
Although it’s the scariest night of the year, it’s not all doom and gloom and there are steps you can take to keep yourself and your family safe this Halloween. Get in touch today if you would like more information and advice or keep reading to find out our top tips for staying safe during the spooky season.
What are some of the most common personal injury dangers around Halloween?
There’s not one specific cause for the increased risk of injury around Halloween, rather it’s a dangerous combination of the darker nights, the higher number of children out and about, and unfortunately, the increased likelihood of drink driving from adults attending parties.
Some of the most common personal injury dangers around Halloween season include:
- Pedestrian related road accidents when trick-or-treating
- Road crash accidents involving drunk drivers
- Chemical burns from fake blood and/or novelty products
- Slips, trips and falls from Halloween displays
Am I liable if a child gets injured whilst trick-or-treating on my property?
If you’re stocking up on sweets ahead of Halloween night for any visiting trick-or-treaters, just remember that as a homeowner or an occupier of a property, you owe a duty of care to any visitors and you may find yourself liable if any accidents are caused by the dangerous condition of your property. This duty of care is a legal requirement under The Occupier’s Liability (Scotland) Act 1960 to ensure that your property is reasonably safe.
Make sure the outside of your property is sufficiently well-lit, so any visiting trick-or-treaters can identify and avoid any potential hazards such as raised slabs that they could trip over, or soggy leaves that could cause someone to slip and fall. Make sure to keep your pathway and any steps clear from both decorations and debris. If there are any defects you’re concerned about, it could be worth fencing this area off or displaying a clear warning notice.
How can I stay safe this Halloween?
With Halloween just around the corner, we want to make you and your family enjoy this time and keep yourselves as safe as possible during this spooky period. To stay safe, keep our top tips below in mind:
Top Tips for Drivers
- Drivers should enter and exit driveways slowly.
- Never drive under when tired or under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
- Take extra care when driving in and around residential areas and keep a close eye out for children walking on the roads.
Top Tips for Trick-or-Treating
- Make sure kids are accompanied by a responsible adult, especially when it’s dark.
- Plan your route in advance so you’re comfortable with which houses you’ll be visiting. It’s best to stick to your own neighbourhood.
- Stay in well-lit areas if possible but if not, make sure children have a flashlight or reflective clothing to increase their visibility.
- Advise children to always look both ways before crossing the road.
Top Tips for Costumes
- Be sure to choose fire-resistant costumes and wigs.
- Make sure all face paint for Halloween is non-toxic and child safe.
- Make sure that your child’s costume doesn’t create a tripping hazard and prevent them from being able to walk without risk of injury.
Here at Bonnar Accident Law, we’d like to wish you and your loved ones a Happy Halloween and we hope you have a safe and fun-filled night.
If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors today.