Halloween is a popular holiday with almost all children. Almost 90 percent of parents responding to a survey on attitudes about Halloween said their kids would be taking part in the holiday. Trick-or-treating is the most popular way for kids to celebrate, with 73 percent of parents indicating their children would be going door-to-door for candy on Halloween.
Unfortunately, having so many children on the road trick-or-treating significantly increases the risk of car accidents. Republican Herald reports there were 115 child pedestrian deaths from 1990 to 2010 on Halloween night. Double the number of children die in pedestrian crashes on Halloween compared with other days of the year. These troubling statistics could change, however, if drivers, parents, and trick-or-treaters all followed some safety tips this holiday season.
Tips for Preventing Halloween Car Accidents
Parents can prevent Halloween car accidents by:
- Making sure children go trick-or-treating with an adult. Twelve percent of parents said they had allowed kids five and under to participate in trick-or-treating without adult supervision. Even if these kids are with siblings, siblings may lose focus and not be able to keep track of younger kids on a busy Halloween night.
- Considering the safety of children's costumes, which 75 percent of parents say they already do. Costumes should not have masks which impede visibility and make it harder for kids to see across the street.
- Making kids use a flashlight, which only 37 percent of parents do. A flashlight makes it easier for drivers to see children.
Drivers can prevent Halloween car accidents by:
- Avoiding distractions at all times. Drivers need to be alert for kids, who may come out from in between cars or who may run across the road at any time. More than 70 percent of pedestrian accidents on Halloween that took the lives of children happened outside of designated crosswalks or intersections.
- Turning on headlights earlier, so kids will be more visible. The hours between 4:00 PM and 10:oo PM were the time when the majority of pedestrian accidents happened on Halloween.
- Staying within the speed limit and driving slower in residential neighborhoods. Children are much more likely to survive being hit by a slower moving car as compared with a car going faster. Driving more slowly also makes it possible for drivers to stop more quickly, because cars going slower have less momentum and shorter stopping distances.
Children can prevent Halloween car accidents by:
- Walking with traffic and staying as far to the left as possible.
- Walking on paths or sidewalks instead of the road whenever possible.
- Looking both ways before crossing the street.
- Carrying glow sticks, flashlights, or other items to make it easier for drivers to see them.
If drivers, parents, and children all make it a point to be more careful on Halloween due to the added risk of Halloween crashes, fewer children will lose their lives or get hurt in serious accidents on this upcoming Halloween night.