Halloween is a popular holiday celebrated by thousands of children in the Los Angeles area. According to Safe Kids.org, 89 percent of parents responding to recent surveys indicated their children participate in some manner in Halloween festivities. Of the kids who participate in the holiday, 73 percent go trick-or-treating door-to-door. When these kids are out having fun, however, they face a very serious danger of getting hit by a motor vehicle.
Pedestrian accident risks are doubled on Halloween night. Parents need to speak with their kids about the added risk of getting struck by a vehicle. Parents, kids, and drivers should all follow best practices for safety to help children enjoy the holiday without losing their lives.
Pedestrian Accident Risks - and Crash Prevention- On Halloween Night
According to Indiana University, twice as many children are hit by cars on Halloween, as compared with any other night of the year. Most of these pedestrian accidents happen between 4:00 PM and 10:00 PM. Republican Herald reported more than 70 percent of the accidents children were involved in on Halloween occurred away from intersections or away from crosswalks.
Parents can reduce the risk of their children becoming one of the crash victims by:
- Talking with their kids about Halloween risks. Seventy-nine percent of parents have spoken to their kids about safety issues on Halloween, but only 35 percent talk to their kids each year according to Safe Kids.org.
- Choosing a costume with a focus on safety. The vast majority of parents (75 percent) consider safety when helping their child to choose a costume. A focus on safety includes making sure children's shoes fit comfortably, and avoiding the use of masks, which impair visibility.
- Requiring children to use flash lights when trick or treating. Only 37 percent of parents make their kids take flash lights with them when going door to door for trick-or-treating.
- Supervising children as they go trick or treating. While 75 percent of parents indicate they always accompany their children, twelve percent of children age five and under have been allowed to go trick-or-treating without adult supervision. While these young kids may be with siblings who are older, siblings can get distracted and may not provide close supervision. Parents should go instead.
Drivers also need to be sure they are doing their part when it comes to Halloween safety. Drivers should be aware of more risk of kids on the roads and should know kids will be unpredictable on Halloween. Drivers should turn their headlights on earlier than they would on other days and should be sure to avoid distractions so they can spot trick-or-treaters who may get into the path of a car.
When responding to a survey, 31 percent of parents expressed concerns their children would be hit by a car on Halloween. If parents, kids, and drivers all follow these rules, hopefully Halloween death rates and pedestrian accident rates will drop and parents won't have to worry so much about whether kids will come home from trick-or-treating unscathed.