Halloween falls on a Sunday in 2021, and in any other year, this would result in less activity than the holiday occurring on a Friday or Saturday. However, last year’s scaled-back festivities due to COVID-related restrictions could result in an uptick of activity by trick-or-treaters and partygoers this year compared to last. To ensure a safe holiday, here are some Halloween safety tips for Tennesseans in 2021. Although Daylight Savings Time officially ends on Sunday, November 7, 2021, sunsets are still occurring at approximately 6:00 p.m., creating visibility issues for pedestrians and drivers alike. Impaired and distracted drivers continue to be a big factor on the roadways, and these risks will be elevated on Halloween. In fact, according to the NHTSA, the greatest amount of drunk driving crashes occur on Halloween night, specifically between the hours of 6 p.m. on Oct. 31 and 6 a.m. on November 1. Young people are in the highest risk category.
The NHTSA has also offered the following tips for this year’s festivities:
- As always, avoid using handheld electronic devices.
- If you see a drunk driver or impaired pedestrian on the road, contact local law enforcement.
- Be especially alert for all road users, including pedestrians, at night.
- Slow down in areas where pedestrians are likely to be or where sight distances are limited. Keep your windshield clean.
- Walk on a sidewalk if one is available. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic, as far to the side as safely possible so you can move quickly out of the road if you feel threatened by traffic.
- Cross with a traffic signal if there is one and even if you have the right of way, make sure traffic has stopped or passed before you step into the street.
- Make yourself as visible to motorists as possible, especially at night and in low light, by carrying a flashlight, wearing a small flashing strobe light, and wearing reflective clothing. Bright-colored clothing is not enough. Drivers need time to detect, identify, and react to an object they see on the road. Carry your flashlight on the side closest to traffic.
- Create a “buddy system” to get each other home safely. Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
Other General Safety Tips:
- Avoid using handheld electronic devices while trick-or-treating. Distracted pedestrians, particularly those wearing masks, can be extremely dangerous.
- Add glow sticks and reflectors to all costumes to enhance safety, as well as other glow-in-the-dark accessories.
- Replace batteries in all flashlights before using.
- For those attending parties serving alcohol, be sure to plan for a designated driver. Any 3rd party transportation services such as a taxi or Uber are good options.
- For parents, remember that social host liability laws may hold you responsible for parties where underage people drink, regardless of who furnishes the alcohol. You could be held legally responsible for your guests’ behavior after they leave your party.
- For drivers, keep in mind that the peak times for trick-or-treating are between 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Another great resource for Halloween safety for children can be found in this Bankrate article. This resource includes:
- Halloween specific safety information (including ideas on how to make a costume more visible)
- personal safety devices and apps for pedestrians
- walking safety tips
- advice for driving safely at night
We hope everyone uses good judgment and plans to ensure the upcoming holiday goes without a hitch. Don’t allow you or a loved one to become a statistic — remember to be prepared and stay safe! The attorneys and staff at Stillman & Friedland wish you a safe and healthy driving experience. We hope you enjoyed reading these Halloween safety tips for Tennesseans in 2021. If you or a family member has been involved in an accident, contact our Nashville-based office at (615) 244-2111 for a free and confidential consultation.
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Stillman & Friedland
Middle Tennessee Accident Attorneys