Key Points of This Article:
- Unlike any other time of the year, trick-or-treating night presents a mixed bag of challenges proven to increase personal injuries to pedestrians and motorists.
- Children are more than twice as likely to be injured in a pedestrian accident on Halloween than on any other day or night throughout the year.
- Michigan families can avoid real-life horror on Halloween night by simply keeping pathways safe and warning young pedestrians of the dangers created by drunk and distracted drivers.
- Metro Detroit has one of the highest per-capita pedestrian death rates, with Warren and Dearborn’s communities involved in increased pedestrian accidents in 2020.
Be on The Lookout for Dogs, Doorsteps, and Drivers this Halloween Night
While this year’s Halloween activities may look a bit different for Michigan families due to COVID-19, the same trick-or-treat dangers will be lurking for those who choose to dress up in their favorite costume and gather candy. Michiganders can help prevent these common trick-or-treat night safety fails to help keep the night free from a haunting accident.
- Watch and Leash Your Dog: It’s likely your dog is a wonderful friend to your family, but the truth is, even the most well-behaved pet can unexpectedly attack and bite.
- If inside, keep your pet in a room closed off from your front door and places where trick-or-treaters may have access to him. Ensure your dog is leashed correctly and away from people if left outside.
- If your dog is joining your family trick-or-treating adventure, remember they must be on a leash per Michigan law. Failure to do so can lead to fines and civil damages if your dog attacks.
- Decorations and Damaged Doorsteps: Homeowners need to keep their driveway, porch entrance, and sidewalk well-lit to show a safe pathway to trick-or-treaters. Look out for dangers related to candlelit pumpkins, and broken steps or loose porch railings. Please help keep your personal property safe for trick-or-treating children and their families by cleaning up your home, porch, stairs, driveway, and yard.
- Clear a path and remove any obstructions or hazards such as electrical power cords, leaves, branches, potted plants, and hoses.
- Repair loose porch railings, steps, or floorboards that may pose a safety threat to your Halloween guests.
- Pedestrians and Drunk and Distracted Drivers: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a majority of drunk-driving crashes occur from 6:00 p.m. on October 31 to 6:00 a.m. on November 1, and drivers aged 21 to 34-year-olds are responsible for half of the impaired driver accidents that occur on Halloween night.
- NEVER drive while impaired by any amount of a drug or alcohol. Instead, use rideshare apps like Uber or Lyft or find a designated driver to take you home.
- Don’t use your phone while driving. You can’t see a pedestrian or slow down to avoid a crash if your eyes are off the road.
Metro Detroit Fairs Poorly in Pedestrian Accidents
According to Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, although the state saw a significant drop in pedestrian deaths in previous years, vehicle crashes involved in pedestrian deaths in Michigan increased by 2.9% in 2019. And Metro Detroit was home to the majority of those related fatalities. This Halloween, parents and trick-or-treaters in the Metro Detroit area need to especially watch out for these busy intersections and streets where foot traffic may get congested when mixed with poorly-lit street crossings and overfilled parking lots.
Warren: Warren is Metro Detroit’s largest suburb and the third-largest city in Michigan.
- Van Dyke Avenue
- 9 Mile, 10 Mile, 11 Mile, and 12 Mile Roads
Sterling Heights: Signs and roads need repair at many busy intersections in Sterling Heights, causing drivers to speed and rush through traffic lights.
- Mound Road
- Hoover Road
Dearborn: City streets in Dearborn are considerably growing busier due to growth in the commuter population and traffic.
- Michigan Avenue
- Ford Road
Pontiac: Problematic crosswalks and intersections in Pontiac have caused wrecks between pedestrians and speeding or distracted drivers.
- Perry Street
- Martin Luther King Jr (MLK) Boulevard
Nationally, metro Detroit has one of the highest per-capita pedestrian death rates, even as motor vehicle safety has improved. For example, in Birmingham, located in Oakland County, police are investigating two pedestrian deaths in the past two months. One of the accidents believes to be a hit-and-run in which the suspect has never been identified.
Michigan’s Safe Trick-Or-Treating Checklist During COVID-19
In addition to this guidance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued trick-or-treating recommendations if you are concerned about Halloween activities being a high-risk for COVID-19.
- Talk with children about safety and social distancing guidelines and expectations. Keep a six-foot distance from others not in your group.
- Participate in one-way trick-or-treating and guide children to stay to the right to ensure social distancing.
- Trick or treat with people you live with.
- Avoid congregating in groups around houses.
- Wear a face mask covering both mouth and nose.
- Only go to houses with safety measures in place.
Tips for homeowners:
- Use duct tape to mark six-foot lines in front of your home and leading to driveway/front door.
- Position a disinfected distribution table between yourself and trick-or-treaters.
- Consider handing out candy in an open space where distancing is possible, rather than from the front door.
If you plan a Halloween gathering, Michigan health authorities say it should be limited to 10 people or less, social distancing should be maintained, cloth masks should be worn, and food and party favors should be set out individually to prevent cross-contamination.
Attorney Eric Steinberg has also offered several tips for homeowners who want to host a safe social gathering.
Partner with Michigan Lawyers Who Care About Your Family
If something goes wrong and an accident occurs during a family outing, please know that our experienced personal injury attorneys are always here to help. With our areas of expertise and ability to serve clients all over Michigan, the Law Offices of Lee Steinberg, P.C., can help you win the compensation you need. Call our offices at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) and schedule your free legal consultation today.
Watch Attorney Eric Steinberg: What To Do After a Dog Bite