October 31, 2011 by Steven M. Gursten

Michigan accident attorney, statistics say risk of children being killed by a car while trick or treating is more than twice normal risk of pedestrian car accident

Halloween is one of my most favorite times of the year. My wife and I love the excitement of taking our two little ones trick-or-treating. Seeing their faces light up in crazy costumes is priceless (this year it’s Anakin Skywalker for my son, and Flower Girl for my daughter – I’ll be hippy boy trick or treating with her tonight).

And since I write a blog about safety – particularly about auto accidents as a Michigan accident attorney, I also want to leave you with some thoughts on how to trick or treat safely tonight.

Around Halloween, parents tend to be wrapped up with the “poison and razors in candy” concerns. But there is a much bigger danger that’s far more common that doesn’t get talked about nearly as often: the risk of a child being hit by a car while they’re out running around trick-or-treating.

Did you know that children are more than twice as likely to be killed by a car while walking on Halloween than any other night of the year? This grim statistic is on a great child safety site called a Safe Kids USA.

Also, pedestrian injuries – children being hit by cars and suffering physical injuries – are the most common of all injuries on Halloween.

So, how do we incorporate this information into a safe Halloween?

I have some tips to have a safe and fun holiday so we can avoid these tragic child pedestrian accidents.

Here’s my list of 10 tips to protect your own little ones from being hit by a car and help to avoid pedestrian accidents and child injury this Halloween. It is best to refer to this list when talking to your kids about Halloween safety.

1. Wear bright and reflective costumes. This way, drivers can see you coming. You can add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat sacks for better visibility. Also, make sure shoes fit properly and costumes are short enough to prevent tripping and contact with flame.

2. Make sure the costume doesn’t block the child’s eyesight. Masks can limit or block eyesight. Consider makeup and properly fitting hats instead.

3. Accompany your children trick-or-treating. A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children during their rounds.

4. Carry flashlights. Parents should provide their children with flashlights with fresh batteries.

5. Be aware of your own driving. On Halloween, make sure to turn your lights on, slow down and be cognizant of all of the extra children that will be running around at night. Remind your family and friends to drive more carefully as well.

6. Stay in a group. A big group of children is easier for cars to see. It’s also helpful for children to communicate about their trick-or-treating route, so they’re more likely to stick together.

7. Remain on streets with lights. Always walk on the sidewalk. Do not cut across yards or use back alleys.

8. Carry cell phones. It’s important for trick-or-treaters to carry cell phones for quick help in case of an emergency or in the event of something suspicious. Teach your kids to call 911 if they are in danger.

9. Don’t assume pedestrians have the right of way. Many drivers have issues seeing trick or treaters.

10. Cross the street safely. Only cross the street as a group and use the cross walks. Do not cross the street between parked cars or through driveways.

– Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by joanneQEscober


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