Halloween: The Most Dangerous Night of The Year For One Group
Every Halloween, children of all ages dress up in scary costumes and head off into a much scarier reality: more children die in traffic accidents on October 31 than any other day of the year.
Unfortunately, that isn’t an unsubstantiated claim, but something Sperling’s BestPlaces analyzed in an October, 2012, study. Looking at more than four million records in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) from 1990 – 2010 for children 0-18 years of age, their analysis revealed the following:
Halloween Was The Deadliest Day for Child Pedestrian Accidents
According to the study, 115 pedestrian fatalities occurred on Halloween during the 21-year period of analysis. This was an average of 5.5 fatalities every Halloween, compared to approximately 2.6 every other day.
Twenty six of the 115 died between 6 pm and 7 pm, with more than 60 percent between 5 pm and 9 pm. More than 70 percent of the accidents occurred away from an intersection or crosswalk, and ages five to 15 were the most at-risk, while drivers between the ages of 15 and 25 were usually driving at the time of a fatality.
The good news is that from 2005 through 2010 the average number has declined, coming just under the 5.5 number. Parents and teenagers are becoming more aware. Here are some steps that can be taken to ensure the number continues to fall.
Choose the Right Costume.
Costumes that are more fitted pose less of a risk of snagging or tripping up an excited youngster. Also, bright colored outfits can keep a little one visible, especially after dark.
Stay with Your Trick-Or-Treater.
It doesn’t matter if you’re driving or walking. Go with your children to the door or at least stay a close, visible distance while they go to make their pleas for candy. Don’t drive slowly alongside your child. It may be too hard to get to them in time, and you could become distracted and pose a risk to other children.
If You Must Drive, Go Slow and Ditch the Smartphone.
There is no phone call or text that is so important it’s worth risking the life of a child. Kids get excited, especially when they can dress up as a favorite superhero and make a grab for enough sugary treats to single-handedly keep the dentist paid for the next year. As a result, they tend to lose track of where they are and who they’re with. It’s up to you as the adult to focus and watch out for them. That means slow speeds in high foot-traffic areas and putting away all other distractions. All it takes is a second or two for something to go wrong. Don’t pay for it the rest of your life.
Property Owners, Be Vigilant.
Unfortunately, accidents have to happen somewhere, and when they occur on your property, you can be held liable for personal injuries. Make sure your property is free from obstructions and anything that might contribute to an accident, especially close to the road. If you’re the type who loves to see the different cuties wearing their creative costumes, then use your porch time to survey the surrounding area for any potential risks. Be an extra set of eyes. On Halloween, there can never be too many.