Halloween Night Child Pedestrian Accidents: Be Careful and Safe During Trick or Treating!
According to published reports by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every year more than 4,000 children aged between 5 and 14 are injured in pedestrian accidents on Halloween night. During other nights of the year, the average number of children injured in accidents is much less, approximately 1,000 kids are injured. As the festivities of Halloween comes each year, California Child Pedestrian Attorneys would advise motorists around California to take extra safety precautions while driving around neighborhoods at night to avoid little trick-or-treaters knocking on doors looking for candies.
Here Are Some General Halloween Safety Tips:
- 1. Driving under the influence on any night is a bad idea, and especially so on Halloween night, when you have so many little pedestrians out on the roads and neighborhoods;
- 2. Make sure you cut out all distractions while driving on Halloween night, making a special effort to switch off your smart phones is also a very smart thing to do;
- 3. Turn off your personal navigation system inside your vehicle including the music system and other devices that could possibly distract you while you are out and about;
- 4. It is best to remember that little pedestrians may be unable to see properly because of their cumbersome costumes they wear over their faces. Children wearing hats, masks and goggles can easily miss your car as you drive by;
- 5. Be very mindful of little children who may be darting out from behind cars onto the roadway;
- 6. Make sure you are cautious when you’re driving at intersections, and look for children who may be crossing the road at any moment;
- 7. Be mindful when you pass vehicles that are stopped in the road. These could be parents dropping off their children for trick-or-treating; or picking them up;
Parental Safety Tips for Halloween:
Parental responsibility must extend to the festivities of Halloween. Parents must also make sure that their children are ready for trick-or-treating in a group with other children. If your child is going out in a group, make sure that he or she knows the rules of road safety; you can check out the U.S. Consumer Product Safety (Kid Section) Website for more information and free downloads including "safety comic books" for more free information.
One thing you can do to be proactive when it comes to your children at Halloween is the following: you can make sure that your child’s costumes are traffic safe. Avoid all Halloween costumes that are long and flowing in which they can get easily caught on something. These increase the risk of a child tripping over on the sidewalk, or on the road while they are crossing to get to the other side. Choose brightly colored costumes (stand out, or even glow in the dark costumes are always excellent choices), and make sure your child's shoes fit properly. You can also add reflective tape to the child’s Halloween costume or on the trick or treat bag, to allow motorists to see the child even in the dark; when the headlights catch them they are easy to see, etc. I would suggest avoiding masks as much as possible. Masks do nothing but obstruct the child's view which can be important when crossing the street or avoiding hazards in the neighborhood or sidewalk. You can use some dark makeup and creativity come up with ideas to help substitute your child's face/head for a mask; this will help the child see better as they walk around their neighborhood. Sometimes make up is more impressive than an actual mask anyway. The only downside is that it is more difficult to clean up but you can make that the fun part for your child if you wish. Just think outside of the box.
Arm Your Children with Some Practical Insight on Halloween Night:
All children should be equipped with flashlights, and they should not leave home without one on them or in their trick-or-treat bag. Make sure that your child stays away from crowded roads or alone (it is best they stay in groups). It is also very important that the child stays out of dark and improperly lit areas in the neighborhood-these areas can always be hazardous at night. Instruct the escort of the group to make sure that the children only visit houses that have the porch light on. This is usually a common sense signal that the home will expect trick-or-treaters anyway. All children must be strictly counseled never to enter any person’s house, as they are only there to go to the front door and collect candy. Be aware of any registered sex offenders in your area, or neighborhood, and ensure that the child’s trick-or-treat route completely avoids these areas in order to make sure they have a safe encounter in their Halloween trek. The simple truth is, Halloween does not have to be the most dangerous night for children in the United States. It is up to us adults to take responsibility for the potential dangers and counsel/teach our children well. We adults simply need to make sure that children have as much of an appreciation for the dangers of the road, as they do for ghouls, witches, and goblins they will encounter walking around on Halloween night!
Mark C. Blane is a San Diego Child Injury/Accident Attorney and the managing lawyer of the Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, a San Diego, California Personal Injury Law Office dedicated to representing families of minor children injured due to the negligence of others. If you or a loved one, who is a minor child, has been injured or killed in a child accident in San Diego, please order your free copy of Mr. Blane's book, The 10 Secrets You Need To Know About Your Injury Case, BEFORE You Call A Lawyer. It is full of helpful information that will help you protect your legal rights and it normally sells for $16.95. However, it is free to all California residents, or those injured in a California accident.