Halloween is one of the most popular holidays of the year for children and adults. Kids like it because they get a lot of candy and adults enjoy the opportunity to dress up.
Halloween is also a dangerous time for people because the number of pedestrian fatalities quadruples, according to an analysis of Halloween in America from 1975-1996. This report cites several reasons for this massive increase in deaths.
Most of the time children are outside is during daylight hours, but Halloween activities are usually happening after dark.
Trick-or-treaters often cross streets in the middle of the block instead of at corners or crosswalks, which is safer.
Black costumes make children less visible and also masks may hinder their ability to see and/or hear cars.
Also children are distracted due to all the visual and auditory stimuli that accompany Halloween.
These factors are also made worse due to the small size and limited motor skills of children.
What can you do to help limit Halloween accidents?
Drive below the posted speed limit, especially in residential neighborhoods
Watch for children darting out from between parked cars, and walking on the road
Enter and exit your driveway and alleys slowly and carefully
Look extra far ahead in traffic to watch for children and anticipate unusual behavior
Be aware that costumes and masks often limit peripheral vision and they may not see or hear your vehicle.
Talk to your children about these tips and dangers. Make sure they know that it is extra difficult for a car driver to see pedestrians at night, and especially when they are small and dressed in dark clothes.
Also many adults now participate in Halloween festivities and this means that there are likely to be more drunk drivers on the roads. The combination of more impaired drivers and more children walking about can be a deadly mix.
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