There’s nothing quite like Pennsylvania during Halloween season. Between the decorations, the movies, the parties, and the trick-or-treating, nearly everyone gets to play a part and have fun during the Halloween season.
Halloween Season Poses Safety Risks
Unfortunately, certain risks come along with Halloween. There are more pedestrians on the road, kids are out running around in costumes that make them difficult to see, people are taking food and candy from strangers, and people are consuming alcohol at parties.
In fact, insurance company State Farm and Bert Sperling of Sperling’s Best Places analyzed data from the National Center for Statistics and Analysis from the years 1990-2010 and found that Halloween is one of the most dangerous times of the year for children.
They found that, in those twenty years, there were 115 child pedestrian fatalities, averaging to around 5.5 child pedestrian fatalities per year, which is over two times the average of 2.6 child pedestrian fatalities per year.
That’s why today we’re going to be taking a closer look at how both you and your children can stay safe this Halloween season.
Most Dangerous Parts of the Night
While it’s true that the Halloween season is one of the most hazardous times of the year for children, not all times of the day are created equal.
In fact, the study states the most dangerous hour of the night is between 6:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. (26% of deaths).
Nearly 60% of the accidents occurred between the hours 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Even further, you can then pinpoint the locations of the accidents. Of the children involved in pedestrian fatalities, over 70% of the accidents happened away from an intersection or crosswalk.
We can then use this information to better inform ourselves about best practices for both walking around on Halloween and for driving.
How to Stay Safe as a Pedestrian
When going out for the night with your child, or sending your older child out on their own (32% of all child fatalities on Halloween were children ages 12-15), there are a few important things to remember to help stay safe.
The following are a few simple tips that can go a long way in keeping your child safe:
- Think of costume ideas with bright colors. If the costume is darker in color, add reflective tape to the costume or the candy bag to increase visibility.
- A mask can inhibit eyesight, so a safer alternative is makeup or a decorated hat. If your child insists on wearing a mask, ensure that it fits properly and allows them to see well.
- If your child is young, there should always be an adult with them or the group. Whether it’s you or another parent, someone should accompany them the entire way.
- Carry flashlights around with you to increase visibility.
- If your children are older and going out by themselves, establish an acceptable route and time that they should return home.
- Ensure that your older children know that they should always cross the street in a group and only in designated crosswalk zones.
While you can control the things that you and your children do as much as possible, that’s only part of the equation.
The other part of the equation is hoping that the drivers around your neighborhood are following best practices as well.
How to Drive Safe on Halloween
Although you may already consider yourself to be a safe driver, you don’t drive around every day with hundreds of kids and adults roaming the streets.While it certainly is their responsibility to be smart while walking the streets, that it always necessarily the case. That’s why you should be proactive in your driving safety on Halloween. If you fail to drive safe, both your life and someone else’s could change forever.
Keep these simple tips in mind this year:
- Drive slower than normal. If the speed limit is 30 mph, drive 15 mph.
- If there is a stopped car on the road, do not pass it. You never know why it may be stopped.
- Do not touch your cell phone. Whether it’s a text, email, or phone call, it can wait. Never take your eyes off of the road.
- Keep your eyes peeled for children running into the street. Although they shouldn’t be doing it, that won’t stop all of them.
- Use your turn signals every single time. If you’re pulling over to drop someone off, turn on your hazards.
By following these few simple tips, you’ll keep yourself and those around you that much safer on Halloween.
No Tricks – We’re Here for You
If you or someone that you know has been injured in an accident this fall, it’s important that you seek legal representation immediately. Call Solnick & Associates to discuss your case with an experienced legal representative.