"Trick or treat!" is a phrase that is heard across the nation on the night of October 31. Halloween has been a tradition of fun costumes and buckets of candy for years. But for parents, one of the most frightening things that can occur on Halloween is not necessarily being startled by a zombie costume but rather watching their child become a victim of a pedestrian accident.
Parents and children are walking around, going from house to house in their neighborhood at night. It is dark and drivers may not be as aware of pedestrians on the sidewalks and streets. In fact, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety, the day of Halloween has the highest number of child pedestrian deaths.
This is a frightening statistic for anyone. But statistics also show that the risk of getting hit by a drunk driver is greater than most other holidays.
However instead of keeping your kids inside or avoiding trick-or-treating altogether, the OTS has some suggestions to ensure that Halloween is both safe and fun for everyone.
Parents can take steps to protect their children by simply walking with them as they go door-to-door. Throughout the evening, it is good to plan a route ahead of time, sticking to streets that have less traffic and better visibility. Other tactics to improve visibility can help children be more visible to drivers. This can be done by using reflective tape on costumes or using a flashlight when walking.
But parents cannot always account for negligent or reckless drivers. Often drivers are coming from Halloween parties and may have had something to drink before getting behind the wheel. If an accident does occur this weekend, parents should know what steps they can take to hold the driver accountable for an accident.
Statistics show that Halloween can be dangerous for children and pedestrians in general. But hopefully by following these simple tips it can be a safe and fun holiday for all.
Source: San Diego 6: "Halloween Tips and Warnings for Kids, Parents and Drivers," Oct. 27, 2011
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