An independent auto insurance provider in the state reports that the number of Texans hit by cars increase during Halloween week by 23 percent. According to company records, the number of claims involving pedestrians dramatically increase during the trick-or-treat season over the last five years. During 2008’s Halloween celebration, the number of pedestrians who were hit by a vehicle have more than doubled during the last week of October and the first week of November, compared with the rest of the year.
The car insurance company’s records coincide with a report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The study from IIHS reveals that the second highest number of pedestrian deaths occurs during October 31, next to the Fourth of July. A non-profit organization adds that pedestrian accidents more often claim the lives of children and minors. They are also a major cause for serious injuries among the age group, such as brain and spinal cord injuries.
As one of Texas’ three largest insurers, the company noted that more kids and cars hit the road during Halloween night because it falls on a weekend. A representative explains that such occurrence creates a very dangerous situation. Adults who are behind the wheel during Halloween and those who are walking with kids are advised to stay alert at all times.
During Halloween week, the auto insurer records about 13.2 bodily injury claims involving pedestrians and bicyclists in Texas, compared with an average of 10.7 a week during the rest of the year.
The Texas Department of Insurance has issued several reminders to pedestrians and drivers to avoid accidents during Halloween season. State regulators advise motorists not to drink while driving, especially with the increased number of pedestrians during the celebration. Those who are attending a Halloween party are advised to designate a driver.
Drivers are also warned that neighborhoods which do not normally have pedestrians or bicycle traffic may experience an increase in the activity during Halloween weekend. Hence, drivers are advised to avoid distractions such as the cell phones and music player so they can focus on the road. Experts tell drivers that children get excited when trick-or-treating so they usually forget to stop and look before crossing the street.
Pedestrians are advised not to text while walking so they are fully aware of approaching vehicles. Safety specialists encourage adults and more responsible youths to accompany children when going around the neighborhood during Halloween. Adults are advised to be especially mindful of children 14 years old and below since they are more likely to become victims of pedestrian accidents.