Halloween is about kids and pumpkins and candy. It should also be about safety.
There are more pedestrian fatalities on Halloween than almost any other day of the year. Only two days rank higher — Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government department that keeps records on motor vehicle accidents, the number of crashes involving pedestrians on Oct. 31 is almost triple the number on any other day. An average of 30 people are killed every year on Halloween.One NHTSA study revealed that there were 715 pedestrian deaths reported on Oct. 31 between 1978 and 2002.
While the NHTSA doesn’t reveal how many of those approximately 30 fatalities are children, it stands to reason that many are young ones trying to collect candy while trick or treating. The custom of going door to door to collect treats put kids in danger because nothing — not even the fear of oncoming cars — can stop a child from following others who are running back and forth to collect candy. This is one day — and night — where kids forget about crosswalks and the importance of “looking both ways” when they cross the street.
It is critical to make sure young children only go trick or treating with adults. You may consider sending your small kids out with older kids while you stay home and give out treats. However, make no mistake about it, young children can get away from an older sibling in a heartbeat. And, that’s assuming the older child wasn’t focused on his or her own bag of loot.
Since this year, Oct. 31 is a Saturday, it’s likely that Halloween activities will start early and run late. However, the Automobile Association of America (AAA) advises that the hours parents must be very careful is between 4 p.m. and midnight. That being said, car drivers will have trouble swerving to avoid kids who dart out into the street — even in the brightest of sunlight.
Incidentally, if your child walks to school, don’t permit them to wear their costumes. Pack them, including any accessories, so they can be easily carried into the classroom. If the child needs to dress for an early party or parade, have them do so once at school. It’s far too easy to get excited and trip over an ill-fitting costume or not see where they are going with a mask on. Further, juggling accessories and lunchboxes and backpacks is a recipe for disaster when they are walking to school.
The truth is, pedestrian accidents resulting in deaths are on the rise in the United States. The last year that data is available for these statistics is 2010. In that year, about 4,280 pedestrians were killed in auto crashes. The year before, the tally was 4,109. Fast forward to 2015, statistics don’t bode well for Halloween.
If your child is injured in a car accident while trick or treating, or any other day of the year, please call the compassionate, knowledgeable personal injury lawyers at Team Law. We will fight for maximum compensation for your family when you need it most. Call today for a free consultation.