As we look back on our trick-or-treating days, I can remember the excitement. It was a magical night that was one of the most anticipated nights of the year. Children get to dress up and get candy. What kind of costume to wear? Which houses have the best candy? These were all questions that ran through your mind when you were a kid and it was Halloween.
Halloween accident statistics
Halloween is also the night when the number pedestrian fatalities quadruple. Kids dressed in dark costumes with masks that may cover their eyes coupled with the excitement of the night may lead to disaster. Here are two Halloween statistics:
- Fatal collisions between motor vehicles and young pedestrians (under 15 years-old) happen most frequently between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
- Around 84% of deaths among young pedestrians occurred at non-intersection locations (indicating children are most likely to dart and dash from mid-block into the street).
Halloween safety tips for drivers
Halloween is also dangerous because of the number of parties that take place. Of all the highway fatalities that take place on Halloween, two-thirds of them are alcohol-related. The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety has issued tips for safe driving on this dangerous night. These include:
- Don't use a cell phone while driving through neighborhoods. A single distraction could lead to a tragedy.
- Stay within the speed limit.
- Pay attention to what's happening on sidewalks and roadways. Watch for children darting across streets, especially between parked cars.
- Be extra alert when pulling in and out of driveways.
- Do not assume children can see you or are paying attention. You need to take that responsibility.
- Drivers should also check that all lights on their car work.
- Do not pass other vehicles that have stopped in the roadway. They could be dropping off children.
- If you're driving a group of children and stop to let them out, make sure to put your hazard lights on to alert other motorists that you have stopped.
- If you're driving to a Halloween party, put that mask on after you park the car.
Safety tips for parents
Also, here are a few tips parents can do to help drivers see their children easier on Halloween night:
- Make sure drivers can see your children. Give your children flashlights or glow sticks. Dress kids in bright, reflective clothing or use reflective tape on their costumes.
- Use makeup rather than masks so children have a clear, unobstructed view of their surroundings.
- Be sure children know how to cross a street (look left, right and left again before crossing).
- Instruct children to stay on sidewalks and to cross only at corners or crosswalks.
- Accompany your children as they trick-or-treat.
Watch out for ghosts, goblins and witches this Halloween. Safety is paramount any night but especially on Halloween Eve. We don't want a fun night of treats to turn into a trip to the hospital. Please be safe this Halloween and have a fun time trick-or-treating!