It is not ghosts and goblins that your kids should be afraid of on Halloween. It is the cars on the road.
Each year almost 500 children are killed in pedestrian accidents. On one night of the year, the number of pedestrian-involved car accidents that result in death doubles. These accidents are taking place between 4 o’clock in the afternoon and 10 o’clock at night. The risk on Halloween is greater of course, simply because there are more children out walking after dark on this night than on any other night of the year. Combine this with dark-colored costumes, masks that obstruct views, and excitement to rush to the next house, and the risk becomes even greater.
Keeping Your Children Safe
As a parent your choices are limited. You can insist that your own children stay at home on this night, escort them if they do go out, or teach them how to stay safe. Most of our suburbs are not built for pedestrian traffic, lacking sufficient sidewalks and safe crosswalks. Plus, drivers are unaccustomed to having to yield to so many pedestrians at this time when they are used to rushing home after work.
Here are some tips for you that can help in protecting your kids and still allow them to partake in the trick-or-treating tradition:
- Travel in groups and stick together. A driver is more likely to see three or four people together than one person walking alone.
- Only cross the street at corners or in well-lit areas. Never enter the street from behind a parked car.
- Stay on the sidewalk or as close to the curb as possible, and if applicable, walk so that you are facing oncoming traffic.
- Wear bright colored costumes or adhere reflective tape to your clothing. Carry a flashlight.
- Parents should avoid talking on cell phones or texting. All attention should be on the kids and the traffic around them.
Be a Responsible Driver
If you will be driving on Halloween evening there are some tips for you as well:
- Slow down, especially inside of residential areas.
- Be on alert for pedestrians. Continually scan both sides of the road for anyone who may be trying to cross the street.
- Give the kids the right of way and check carefully for any stragglers before continuing on.
- Stay off of your cell phone and away from any other distractions.
Nobody wants to see a child hurt, especially during a time that is supposed to be joyous for them. Adults should be taking every precaution possible to ensure that kids are able to enjoy the spirit of Halloween tradition without fear of harm. If your child is injured in an accident, seek medical attention for him or her immediately.
The real demons on Halloween do not come from tainted candy or vampires. It is negligent drivers and throngs of excited children that account for the high number of fatal pedestrian accidents. If your young trick-or-treater is injured by an automobile on Halloween, speak to The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 about the ways in which you might be able to recover the medical costs that were incurred.