30 Oct 2020

Personal Injury

Will Halloween accident spike be lower this year?

We all know that Halloween can be a scary day but did you know that it is usually one of the most dangerous days of the year for accidents to happen?

Data analysis carried out earlier this year by National Accident Helpline found that 31st October was the fifth most accident-prone day of the year, with a total of 1,172 accidents leading to claims enquiries occurring on Halloween last year.

Trick-or-treating has also been blamed for a spike in child road casualties as in previous years, Halloween has seen more children hit by cars than any other point in the surrounding four weeks. Analysis of road traffic accident data by Churchill Car Insurance in 2019 found that, on average, 49 children under 10 were involved in road traffic accidents on October 31 – almost twice the average for the two weeks before and after Halloween.

A second spike in road traffic accidents involving vehicles and children usually occurs five days later, on November 5.  In 2019, Bonfire Night saw road accidents involving children increase by more than half when compared with the rest of November, with an average of 44 incidents.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, on Halloween, 47 percent of road accidents involving children occur between 6pm and 9pm, highlighting the dangers of going out after dark.

However, it’s not just children who are at risk, as the data also showed that Halloween usually sees road traffic accidents increase by 75 percent compared to the rest of the month. On average, 295 accidents involving adults occur on October 31 – 12 percent higher than the annual average.

And the problem tends to be even worse on Bonfire Night, when there is an average of 360 accidents involving adults – up 37 percent on the annual average.

As Victoria Smithyman, senior associate solicitor in our personal injury department, says, the lockdown restrictions this year are likely to mean the annual trend for increased injuries won’t repeat itself this Halloween.

“Thankfully, the overall number of accidents involving child pedestrians on Britain’s roads is relatively low, but this data analysis shows that in previous years they have faced an increased risk at this time of year, when they’ve been out and about for Halloween and Bonfire Night.

“Clearly, this year is likely to be very different, as given the Covid-19 restrictions that are in place in many places across the UK, we would expect far fewer children to be out trick or treating and attending fireworks displays this year. However, we would urge any children and parents who are planning to go outdoors to celebrate to exercise caution. And if you’re driving, you need to be extra vigilant too.”

We’ve compiled some tips to keep your children safe this autumn:

  • Make sure that children can be seen in the dark. Ideally, if they are going out they should wear something reflective and carry a torch.
  • Remind older children how to cross the road safely and always supervise younger children. See here for some handy hints.
  • While dressing up in Halloween costumes can be great fun, remember that they are more flammable than normal clothing so take extra precautions around candles or open fires. Use flameless candles in your jack-o-lanterns if you can and always buy costumes from a reputable retailer which have a CE mark on the label.
  • If you are planning to use fireworks as part of your celebrations, always follow the Firework Code

Victoria Smithyman is a senior associate solicitor in our personal injury department at Harding Evans Solicitors and has a wealth of experience advising on a wide range of personal injury claims. If you have an enquiry relating to an accident you have suffered that was not your fault, contact Victoria on 01633 244233 or email hello@hevans.com.

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