Car Accidents: A Halloween Danger for Children
The Scariest Thing on Halloween Isn’t What You Expect
With football back on television, children back in school, and the leaves beginning to turn, it’s easy to get swept up in the beauty and comfort of fall ― especially as the holiday season rapidly approaches. And while the first of these, Halloween, can be frightfully delicious, it is also one of the most dangerous on the calendar.
Many of us have heard of razors in apples or creepy strangers stalking the streets, and while these threats are real, the biggest threat on Halloween is something far more common and preventable: car accidents involving children and adolescents. In fact, children are at a greater risk of injury or death from accidents involving motor vehicles on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
Bert Sperling and Piper Smith created a study about car accidents on Halloween from 1990-2010 and found that there are, on average, 5.5 child fatalities (ages 18 and under) each Halloween compared to 2.6 on any other given day of the year. Their research concluded that this is in part due to more children in the streets trick-or-treating, as well as additional drivers heading to holiday parties.
The most dangerous time of night for accidents was between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. ― during which, 60% of accidents took place. Nearly 70% of accidents occurred at intersections or crosswalks, and more than 50% of fatalities were suffered by children ages 5 to 15 (the bulk being 5 to 8 year olds and 12 to 15 year olds), which happens to be the largest age group for trick-or-treating. Youth is not only a determining factor for accident victims, but for drivers as well. Drivers between 15 and 25 caused nearly one-third of these accidents.
How to Reduce Your Risk for Car Accidents and Stay Safe on Halloween
Unfortunately, pedestrian fatalities are on the rise here in our home state of Massachusetts, and fatal car crashes in the United States (including those involving pedestrians) are also the highest they have been in 50 years. With an estimated 41 million children on the streets Halloween night and more drivers behind the wheel, it is important to follow the safety tips below drawn from both the NHTSA and Safe Kids Worldwide.
- Talk to your children: Only 1 in 3 parents have admitted to discussing risks of trick-or-treating with their children.
- Dress Appropriately: Apply reflective tape to your children’s costumes or have them wear something that shines. Also, remind them to bring a flashlight; being well-lit and highly visible increases the likelihood a driver will see your child and stop before an accident occurs.
- Stick to the Sidewalk: Make sure trick-or-treaters stick to paths and sidewalks whenever possible. It may be fun to run around the neighborhood gathering candy as fast as their legs will go, but remaining in proper pedestrian areas will save lives.
Also, drivers on Halloween night must remember three simple rules.
- The Golden Rule: Never, under any circumstance, drive impaired or allow others to do so. Use a car service, call a cab, or make plans with a sober friend to get to your final destination.
- Don’t Drive Distracted: Avoid using electronic devices while driving. Confirm any plans for parties or meetups ahead of time.
- Slow Down: Drive slowly in residential areas, as there will be a higher concentration of foot traffic. Remember that once outside of your car, you will also be a pedestrian; drive with the same courtesy and care you’d want for your family.
These safety tips will ensure that everyone has a pleasant and safe Halloween night. Be diligent and honest with your children about the risks, and join them for the fun of trick-or-treating.
The Law Offices of George Malliaros: Helping Auto Collision Victims
Unfortunately, even when we follow all the best safety guidelines, there is no way to account for the carelessness of others. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as the result of being struck by a motor vehicle, please contact the Law Offices of George A. Malliaros today. We have successfully represented many pedestrians who have suffered injuries as a result of collisions with motor vehicles, and we are ready to put our experience to work for you.
Our contingent fee policy ensures that you will not pay any fees or expenses unless and until we are able to resolve your claim successfully. Please call us today at (800) 856-4449 or complete this brief form to schedule a free consultation.
Please remember that there are strict timelines involved in personal injury claims, and the statute of limitations to file a claim is three years from the date of the accident. Contact us today so that we can begin working on your claim immediately.
Leonard, K. (2015, October 29). The real horrors of Halloween. US News. Retrieved from http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/10/29/why-halloween-is-dangerous-for-kids
Mitrache, V. (2015, October 31). The number of kids involved in car accidents doubles on Halloween, extra care is recommended. autoevolution. Retrieved from http://www.autoevolution.com/news/the-number-of-kids-involved-in-car-accidents-doubles-on-halloween-extra-care-is-recommended-101480.html
Painter, K. (2012, October 28). ‘The real danger on Halloween’: Kids hit by cars. USA Today. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/10/28/halloween-kids-pedestrian-deaths/1652807/
Quick tips for a safe Halloween. (2016). Safe Kids. Retrieved from http://www.safekids.org/infographic/quick-tips-safe-halloween
Safety in numbers [Pamphlet]. (2014). NHTSA. Retrieved from www.nhtsa.gov/nhtsa/Safety1nNum3ers/october2014/S1N_Halloween_Drunk_Peds_Oct_2014.pdf
Sperling, B., & Smith, P. (2016). Halloween deadliest day. Sperling’s Best Places. Retrieved from http://www.bestplaces.net/docs/studies/halloween_deadliest_day.aspx