Pedestrian collisions tend to increase around Halloween
Last year, 49% of Canadian survey respondents claimed they were foregoing their Halloween trick or treating plans altogether due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now life feels more normal, Ottawa trick-or-treating is expected to surge in popularity again this October. This means more kids on the streets and an increased risk of pedestrian collisions.
A quick glance at Ottawa’s Annual Safety Reports makes for grim reading too, especially for concerned parents. Given our busy lives and the sheer amount of news every day in Ottawa, we’re often desensitized to reading headlines like “pedestrian hit in crosswalk” or “pedestrian hit by car in crosswalk”. That’s until you or a loved one experiences a serious incident like this first-hand.
Unfortunately, crosswalk accidents are on the rise in Ottawa. In 2019, the last year on record, fatal pedestrian collisions, reportable collisions, and minor injuries had reached their highest figures in 5 years. As Halloween approaches, parents should be keenly aware of pedestrian crossing accidents. Not only that but they should take precautionary measures to keep themselves and their kids safe from harm.
Pedestrian collisions In Ottawa: Get to know the facts
Halloween is great fun for kids. However, a mixture of darker skies, poor visibility, wet weather, and on-street trick-or-treaters creates a recipe for disaster. Some costumes can restrict the visibility of a pedestrian or prompt a slip and fall. On the other hand, elaborate Halloween displays or costumes distract drivers too.
The City of Ottawa’s Annual Safety Reports are the authority regarding pedestrian accidents. This includes fatal collisions, reportable collisions, minor injuries, and more. Truthfully, these incidents are on the rise. In 2016, the City of Ottawa reported just four fatal collisions that involved a pedestrian, with that number doubling in 2019. After a long and difficult pandemic, the enthusiasm for Halloween 2021 is expected to be much higher than normal. This could well see fatal collisions rise further.
Historically, the city reports that October is a troubling month for collisions. There is typically a large spike in collisions of close to 5.5 per cent between September and October. As for driving, wet and slushy road conditions contribute to over 20 per cent of all reportable collisions in Ottawa.
Pedestrian collisions are never easy to break to loved ones
Delivering devastating news about a pedestrian accident can be a terrifying experience. Serious pedestrian collisions have life-changing consequences and impact an individual’s ability to live and work daily. Spinal cord injury, head trauma, or other debilitating injuries as a result of pedestrian collision can change you or a loved one’s life in an instant. Traumatic injuries of this nature often result in a lifelong commitment to rehabilitation, extensive personal care, or life in a wheelchair.
All in all, you should remain diligent this Halloween season. Ensure that you and your children avoid harmful collisions by taking extra care, teaching your children how to obey road signs while promoting positive road safety habits that can save lives. Your extra efforts can help you and your children focus on enjoying the trick-or-treating experience rather than spending time in hospital.
7 trick-or-treating safety tips to reduce the chance of pedestrian collisions
Use these seven simple trick-or-treating safety tips tailored towards parents in Ottawa and its surrounding communities. Your extra caution not only contributes to a safer neighbourhood but can save lives too.
- Avoid “wexting” (walking and texting) or distracted walking at all costs. There are a staggering number of personal injuries that can be avoided just by simply staying off your phone while walking. Always stay aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for slippery steps and walkways in the dark.
- Avoid wearing hooded clothing that hinders your peripheral vision. Instead, opt for costumes that don’t restrict vision and are easily removable should you or your children need to cross a busy intersection.
- Choose face paint over masks to maintain a clear line of sight. There are many costume options that don’t include masks but instead are a mix of hats and face paint.
- Consider costumes for you and your children that have bright colours and stand out against nighttime driving conditions. High visibility clothing grabs drivers’ attention and ultimately makes the entire Halloween experience much safer. If you’re biking during Halloween, make sure your reflectors are in proper working order too.
- Beware of long-flowing ghoulish costumes that may cause a dangerous trip hazard for you or other trick-or-treaters. Choose a costume that offers mobility so you can easily navigate puddles, fallen leaves, and walkway steps.
- Consider trick-or-treating earlier in the evening when there is more daylight. Many households are ready for trick-or-treaters at earlier times and won’t mind a friendly knock at the door before potentially being disturbed at dinnertime.
- Reiterate traditional road safety tips to your children well before they head out trick-or-treating. Always look both ways before crossing the road and encourage your children to spread their safety habits to other children. Parental supervision is never a bad idea and even allows the parents to get in on the fun and mingle with other neighbours.
If you’ve experienced a serious pedestrian collision, turn to MG Law
MG Law handles the complicated nature of pedestrian accident claims. We can successfully recover pedestrian accident compensation when negligence causes serious injury or death. Should you or a loved one fall victim to a serious pedestrian accident involving a motor vehicle or a cyclist, get in touch with our experienced team. Even if you are at fault for a pedestrian accident claim, proper legal representation is an essential part of moving forward.
Pedestrian accident claims involve strict deadlines that need to be addressed as soon as possible. Call 613-730-8460 to speak to the personal injury lawyers at MG Law.