What is supposed to be one of the most fun-filled nights of the year for kids is actually one of the most dangerous and deadly. Each year parents concern themselves about tampered with or poisoned candy. However, studies show that altered candy should be the least of their worries. Over the last decade, accident statistics have shown that twice as many children are killed, and four times as many are injured in accidents while trick-or-treating.
There have been 115 Halloween child pedestrian fatalities occurred over 20 years. The “deadliest hour” occurs between 6 and 7 p.m., as 26 of the 115 accidents occurred during that time span. Sixty percent of accidents occurred between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Over 70% of these accidents did not occur near a crosswalk or intersection. The majority of these accidents occurred in the middle of neighborhoods. Young drivers, ages 15-25, accounted for over one-third of the fatal pedestrian accidents on Halloween.
On a dark spooky night, trick-or-treaters must be cautious of vehicles while crossing roads. With dark and gloomy costumes motorists struggle to see trick-or-treaters crossing streets. For safety, trick-or-treaters should try to incorporate some type of retro-reflective tape on costumes or treat buckets to improve visibility to motorists and others. Trick-or-treaters should also be following the laws of traffic while on foot. Do not run through intersection or cross streets without crosswalks. If there are no sidewalks be sure to walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic to make yourself more noticeable to motorists.
As a motorist, slow down in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals. Drive at least 5mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself extra time to react to children who may run into the street. Children will most like be excited and not paying attention to traffic and cross the street mid-block or between parked cars. Allow yourself time to react in congested areas by going 10-15mph.
Don’t allow tragedy to strike on one of the most joyous nights of the year. Follow these safety tips for a fun, safe, and spooky evening of trick-or-treating!