Boozers can be losers on Halloween
Halloween is on a Wednesday this year, and hordes of little ghosts and goblins will be darting into the streets. Sorrow, pain, guilt, despair and continuous darkness could be just around the corner.
Even if a child is at fault, a feeling of depression, anger, and a deep sadness follows the killing of a child. Some communities will proclaim that Halloween should be celebrated on the weekend when traffic is lighter, but many parents won’t heed that suggestion.
Halloween isn’t just for kidlets anymore, because adults seem to be commandeering the holiday. Jack-o’-lanterns, candy and witches are slowly being outflanked by adult costumes, alcohol and parties. Even the trick-or-treat pranks seem to be geared toward the older generation. Some organizations state that drunk driving fatalities on Halloween night are steadily on the rise.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see all the adult Halloween costumes at many retail stores. Many adults want to step out of reality, then presto-chango, become a character from another world.
In 1961, singer Barry Mann put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp, but these days some folks put the booze in the boo, boo, boos? Psychologytoday.com says, “Research has shown that average alcohol consumption overall increases by about 30 percent on Halloween and rises even more among college students who dressed up in costumes.” Some adults get carried away and let their second self push them into doing stupid things they ordinarily wouldn’t do.
ABC News reported last year, “The scariest place on Halloween isn’t a cemetery or haunted house — it’s the emergency room. The majority of cases emergency room physicians see on Halloween are alcohol or drug intoxication and trauma.”
Halloween will be a special night for approximately 40 million trick-or-treaters, but for nearly 150,000 people, their treat will be gory and gruesome. There is no guessing who will lose if a 4,000-pound car collides with a 60-pound child. This Halloween, about 145,000 pedestrians will need a doctor and approximately 6,000 more will need an undertaker.
Creep up on these spook-takular tips to reduce the chance of killing a child this Halloween season. Reduce speed, especially in residential neighborhoods, and keep a close watch between 4 to 8 p.m. when most serious accidents happen between cars and children.
Be aware that a stopped car could be letting children out to trick-or-treat. Know that out of the blue, children will suddenly appear in the middle of the street. As sure as Halloween falls on Oct. 31, children will be excitedly thinking about getting more candy, and they will unintentionally dash in front of a moving car. They will be giddy, and they will move very unpredictably. They can even dart away from an adult escort incredibly fast. Fatalities of children usually occur at places other than intersections.
According to the organization Safe Kids USA, “Children are more than twice as likely to be killed by a car while walking on Halloween night than at any other time of the year.” There’s a startling number of reasons that children are hurt on Halloween, but the ghoulish fact is that the fault generally rests with the child.
Children often wear masks that hamper their ability to see when they cross the street, so it becomes prudent for drivers to beware. Children who wear dark costumes and don’t carry a flashlight is another reason for drivers to slow down. Turn signals are especially important on Halloween.
Halloween is supposed to start the threeday observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead. Instead, it has become a three-day observance of Allmywhims, the time in the year dedicated to gorging on booze. A driver’s choice is to experience a child’s blood, bones, and brains, or skip the booze and avoid the horrible blues.
Children have a reduced picture of their surroundings because of their lack of experience or maturity. Any driver should have great apprehension and fear of Halloween traffic dangers. If the worst-case scenario occurs, the driver will experience the big heart and professional demeanor of a police officer and medical first responder. But in 6,000 cases, these drivers will meet the angel of death.
Drivers might not want to carve a pumpkin, but they can carve their future. Barry Mann put the ram in the rama lama ding dong, but the sheriff will put the slam in the slama jail door. Drive amused, without the booze, or use the walking shoes. Killing a child is not worth the buzz.