Halloween is known for all things scary. From ghosts to zombies, haunted houses to spooky music and movies, we often associate the holiday with being frightened. And although it can be a lot of fun, unfortunately not all scares are enjoyable. Historical data has shown that children who are out trick or treating are much more likely to be killed by a car on the night of Halloween – in fact, twice as likely.
Contributing Factors for Halloween Car Accidents with Pedestrians
According to data compiled by the National Safety Council, in 2015 there were 6,700 pedestrian deaths that were related to car accidents. Many of the contributing factors to these motor vehicle accidents are extremely relevant on Halloween night. These factors include pedestrians rushing into intersections when they did not have the right of way to do so (17 percent) or people in dark clothing (15 percent). As for fatalities of children aged five to nine, 15 percent were associated with them running into a street or intersection; for children aged 10-15 years, this accounted for 7 percent.
Tips for Keeping Children Safe
Unsurprisingly, October – which experiences a large spike in mortality – is the second deadliest month for motor vehicle deaths, according to the National Safety Council. Between oversized dark clothing and masks, and a plethora of children running in and out of the street during low hours of visibility, Halloween is the perfect firestorm for everything to go awry. That is why many organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, have compiled top tips to keep children safe on Halloween. Some of these include:
- Having an adult accompany young children (Safe Kids Worldwide recommends parents accompany children under the age of 12).
- Avoid masks, which can obstruct vision.
- Put reflective tape on children’s costumes and bags.
- Instruct children to travel only in well-lit areas.
- Stay off of phones and other electronics and pay attention to surroundings.
- Look left, then right, then left once again before crossing the street.
Tips for Driving on Halloween to Avoid an Accident
As for anyone who is driving Halloween night, there are also important tips to keep everyone safe. Many of these Halloween car accidents are related to paying attention to the road and to your surroundings – the same things that are recommended at all times by the National Safety Council in regards to distracted driving. Some of these include:
- Watching for children walking on curbs, medians, and roadways.
- Watching for children in dark clothing – especially from twilight onward.
- Be careful when entering and exiting driveways and alleys.
- Discourage new and/or inexperienced drivers from driving during Halloween trick or treating hours (5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.).
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