It’s almost that spooky time of year again when kids put on their most frightening costumes and go door-to-door trick-or-treating. Also, some kids wear black clothing, which makes it harder for drivers to see them. Therefore, you need to take precautions during this scary and festive holiday.
With all the candy, creepy masks, and spine-chilling decorations grabbing a kid’s attention, he or she might not be as careful as they should be. As a result, this hair-raising time of the fall season can also lead to pedestrian accidents and fatalities. Therefore, if you’re a parent, you need to make sure special care is taken when your kid is trick-or-treating or attending a Halloween party.
Pedestrian Fatalities: What One Study Revealed
One 2019 study revealed that pedestrian accidents increased significantly on Halloween night. The research reviewed 40 years of data – data which showed that fatalities are 43% higher overall on the thirty-first of October each year.
The authors of the study analyzed the data and noted most fatalities happened between 5:00 pm and 12:00 Midnight. They compared this information with accidents that took place on two control evenings – one week prior to and one week after Halloween night.
Investigators determined that 608 pedestrian fatalities happened, over the years, on 42 Halloween nights, while 851 fatalities occurred on 84 of the two control evenings during the study per period.
This calculation showed that four additional pedestrian deaths took place on Halloween – with the highest number occurring among children. Moreover, walkers or trick-or-treaters from four to eight years old were 10 times more likely to be a victim. The risk was the highest around 6:00 pm, and the fatalities regularly took place in residential neighborhoods.
Indeed, these kinds of statistics are sobering as well as alarming. That is why you need to make sure your child understands the “rules of pedestrian travel” when they’re trick-or-treating.
Be aware of the time
This factor may seem obvious, but it’s important to make sure that your child knows when to stop trick-or-treating. Therefore, you need to place a time limit on when he or she stops canvassing the neighborhood for treats.
If your child is under 12 years old, they should stop by 8 pm, or if they’re older, make sure they end the activity by 9:00 pm. If they’re out too late, they could be cited for being out past curfew. Also, some motorists may be coming from parties and may have had too much to drink.
Make sure your kids have reflective gear and lights
You also want to make sure your child is wearing reflective clothing so they are more visible to drivers. Give them glow sticks or a flashlight to help light their path.
Map out a route for them before they set out on their fright-night adventure. If you have younger kids, you’ll need to accompany them. Make sure they understand the importance of not running recklessly ahead.
Make it clear to them to look around when crossing side streets and drives and to yield to right-of-ways- all places where auto and pedestrian mishaps often occur.
Some costumes may be bulky, which can make it hard for a kid to walk. This can prove to be a hazard, especially if they cross uneven surfaces or patchy parking lots. Therefore, think about the costume your child is planning to wear. Make sure they can walk comfortably in the costume and that its material is safe and not too loose.
Encourage the buddy system
If your child is going to walk home with a friend, encourage them to use a buddy system. This means one child walks in front and one walks behind so they can keep each other safe. If one child gets tired, he or she can walk in the other’s position to rest for a bit.
If your child is walking with a group, the buddy system applies as well. Kids should walk in the front, middle, and back. They should also walk on each side of the group to keep an eye out for traffic. Make sure they check with each other periodically to make sure everyone is doing okay.
No matter how old your child is, it’s important to teach them to use common sense while out on the streets.
Teach them the importance of staying alert and walking on the sidewalk whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, they should stay well off the road and walk against the flow of traffic.
Call Slappey and Sadd to Schedule a Consultation Today
While Halloween is an exciting time of year, it’s also important to remember to play it safe. If you have been the victim of a pedestrian accident yourself, you may need to speak to a personal injury lawyer. In Atlanta, contact Slappey and Sadd at (888) 474-9616. Know your rights when pursuing this type of personal injury accident claim.