Halloween is one of the most highly anticipated days for children throughout the United States. Unfortunately, children are also at risk on this spooky holiday. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a vehicle on Halloween than on other days of the year.
Keep Your Child Safe This Halloween
Encouraging your children to stay safe this year can protect them from harm while still allowing them to enjoy the traditions of Halloween. Simple safety tips—such as avoiding walking in the street and wearing reflective gear—may save your child’s life.
Here are a few safety tips to protect your children while trick-or-treating:
- Use reflective tape. Reflective tape can be placed on costumes, candy bags, and shoes. Light-up swords, tiaras, shoes and wands, glow stick jewelry and other festive attention-grabbers can also serve as beacons that signal to drivers that a pedestrian is nearby.
- Provide your children with flashlights. Another helpful light source is a flashlight, which can alert drivers that a child is near, but can also help your child see vehicles without lights as well as other hazards that may lead to trips and falls.
- Participate in the fun. Be your child’s eyes and ears this Halloween by trick-or-treating too. If your children are able to go alone, remind them to stick to safe areas that have plenty of street lights and little vehicle traffic.
- Set a time limit. The darker it is outside, the more at risk your children will be. Having a set time at which to commence candy eating and movie watching will give your children something to look forward to, while also protecting them from the dangers of walking at night.
- Be selective with your child’s costume. Halloween is a great opportunity for kids to hone in on their creativity by coming up with unique costume ideas. However, costumes should never inhibit a child’s safety. Make sure that your children’s outfits are the right sizes to prevent tripping—and prevent distracting them from what is happening nearby. Don’t purchase masks that limit your child’s range of vision. Encourage the use of well-fitted shoes that are easy and safe to walk in.
- Travel in a group. With more people around, drivers are more likely to notice pedestrians and may drive more slowly and alertly to avoid a collision.
- Stay off the road. Encourage your children to avoid walking alongside the road or crossing the street. If they must cross, have them stick with a group and use a crosswalk. You can also encourage the use of additional lighting—such as a flashlight—that may be more effective in signaling oncoming vehicles to stop.
- Communicate with your child. Simply discussing the dangers of walking at night with your children may encourage them to take safety precautions and be more aware of their surroundings.
How Drivers Can Prepare
Drivers hold just as much responsibility for ensuring roadside safety on Halloween. They can do so by:
- Following traffic laws, such as stopping for crosswalks, heeding speed limits, and coming to a complete stop at stop signs and lights.
- Not drinking and driving.
- Slowing when around pedestrians and pausing longer than usual at stop signs.
- Using turn signals and making sure that headlights and are functioning properly.
- If possible, rolling windows down to listen for pedestrians.
- Keeping an eye out for small children who may be more difficult to see than adults.
- Watching for pedestrians to run out from parked cars or buildings.
If You’ve Been Involved in an Accident
If you can prove that a driver was acting negligently at the time of an accident, you may be able to seek compensation for injuries acquired during the crash. Personal injury victims may recover for pain and suffering, medical bills and supplies, lost wages, wrongful death, and permanent disability, among other things. If you or your child has been involved in an accident, contact our firm for advice and assistance with your personal injury case.