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Risk of trick-or-treaters being killed by a car: Twice as high on Halloween

October 29, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

Top 10 Halloween safety tips on preventing pedestrian accidents

I have two little ones, and my family’s favorite holiday is Halloween. But the injury attorney in me always experiences anxiety on Halloween night – and not from the ghouls and goblins.

The reason, and I say this not to scare parents (sorry about the pun), is because there are so many children who are hit by cars on Halloween.  In fact, the risk of a child being killed by a driver is twice as high on Halloween than it is on other nights, according to Safe Kids World Wide.

With the risk of a pedestrian-car accident so high on Halloween,  I want to remind all drivers – and the parents of all trick-or-treaters – to slow down in neighborhoods.  You have to be especially vigilant and defensive if you elect to drive in neighborhoods with kids  running from house to house with their pillowcases full of candy.

There are many Halloween safe driving tips. Take your time and remain especially focused on driving.  Do not text and drive, talk on the phone or do anything that causes additional distractions behind the wheel. Remind your loved ones and everyone you know to drive more carefully on Halloween too.

Here are some pointers that will help your kids trick-or-treat safely this week:

  1. Accompany children. A parent or responsible adult should always accompany  children during their trick-or-treating rounds in the neighborhood.
  2. Wear bright, reflective costumes. Drivers can see kids coming better this way. Tip: Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for better visibility.
  3. Stay on lighted streets. Stick to the sidewalk. Don’t run across yards or use the dark alleys.
  4. Don’t assume pedestrians have the right of way. If a driver doesn’t see a trick-or-treater, it doesn’t matter who had the right of way.
  5. Make sure the child can see through the costume. Masks and costumes can limit or even block eyesight. Think about using makeup and properly fitting hats instead, so children can see where they’re going.
  6. Flashlights. Make sure they have fresh batteries.
  7. Bring your cell phones. Give your kids cell phones in case of an emergency. Teach them to call 911 if they’re in danger or something suspicious happens.
  8. Stay in a group. A large group of children is easier for cars to see.
  9. Communicate. When children talk about their route, they’re more likely to stay together in a group.
  10. Cross the street safely. Cross as a group and use the cross walks.
  11. Be aware of your own driving. Turn your lights on, slow down and be cognizant of all of the extra children that will be running around.

Parents, please refer to this list when talking to your kids about Halloween safety.

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