Key Points of This Article
- October ranks No. 2 in motor vehicle deaths by month, and children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
- In popular trick-or-treating neighborhoods, pedestrians may forget the streets are not closed and tend to cross instead of looking for the best route.
- Halloween safety also relies on the involvement of responsible homeowners who work to identify slip, trip, and fall hazards which may be in the way of young trick-or-treaters.
- By clearing a walkway safe from any obstructions or hazards homeowners may prevent a lasting injury to young children.
Family Halloween Tips for Safe Trick-or-Treating
We believe Kentucky families have so much to look forward to each fall season. Hayrides, road trips to see the spectacular display of fall colors, candlelit hikes, bonfires, festivals, biking – and for those who celebrate Halloween, happy haunted houses and trick-or-treating with friends and family. Unfortunately, mixed in with all that October fun, is a scary ranking. October is the second-highest time of the year for motor vehicle deaths, according to the National Center for Health Statistics data collected by the National Safety Council. Impaired as well as distracted motorists, and a rise in pedestrian traffic, are to blame.
Watch Out for Young Pedestrians During Trick-or-Treating Hours
Children are more than twice as likely to be injured in a pedestrian accident on Halloween than on any other day or night throughout the year, with the riskiest timeframe between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. All children, no matter their age, will be excited and easily distracted from their safe pedestrian responsibilities while out trick-or-treating. Besides, their costumes may make it difficult for them to see a safe path or allow them to be noticeable to speeding, distracted or drunk motorists.
As you prepare your young pedestrians for their annual candy collection, take the time to review these 8 Halloween safety tips.
- Teach your children to use crosswalks, understand traffic signals, and to ensure drivers see them before crossing.
- Avoid crossing in unexpected locations like cutting through a parking lot or back alleyway.
- Darting out into the street is a major danger, as is walking out to cross the road from between two parked cars.
- Be cautious with costume selection, including masks, wigs, boxes, or long dresses. You will want your child to be able to see their surroundings and move with ease.
- If your child is wearing a dark costume, purchase inexpensive LED sashes or light-up candy buckets so they will be noticed more effectively. If not, have them carry flashlights, or put reflective tape or other light-up items on their costumes so that drivers can see them.
- If your child owns a mobile device, it’s important to be clear about when and where they should use it and the consequences of being distracted while crossing a road.
- Remind your child to never wait for friends near a driveway or on the side of the road.
- If your older children are trick-or-treating alone, plan and review a well-lit route acceptable to you.
Halloween safety also relies upon the involvement of responsible drivers. If you plan to be on the road during trick-or-treat hours:
- Watch for children walking on roadways and waiting in medians, by bus stops and at curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways, parking lots and alleys slowly and scanning for children ahead.
- Avoid distractions such as your cell phone, eating, grooming, or tending to young passengers while driving.
- Obey the speed limit and never rush through a traffic light.
- Never driver impaired by drugs or alcohol, or while drowsy.
It’s best to discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween night or during trick-or-treating hours. Teen drivers can easily become frustrated in slower traffic and frazzled by extra stopping leading them to distractions and making quick, foolish decisions that endanger others.
Negligent Homeowners Create Extra Slip, Trip, and Fall Injuries to Children
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports show same-level slips, trips, and falls send about one million people to the emergency room each year. And this time of year, fallen leaves and sticks may disguise a home’s poorly maintained walkway or damaged porch. Powered Halloween decorations, unleashed pets, and candlelit pumpkins may also pose extra dangers to the young trick-or-treaters arriving at your doorstep.
- Keep your driveway, porch entrance or sidewalk well-lit to show the pathway to your door.
- Trick-or-treaters can easily knock over candles or pumpkins lining steps. Choose to light pumpkins with battery operated lights.
- Hang a string of lights around the front porch to make the area more visible.
- Be sure to clear a path in your yard and remove any obstructions or hazards. In addition, clean up leaves and branches, and keep potted plants and hoses out of the yard, in a safe distance from any pedestrians.
- Repair loose porch railings, bricks or stones that may pose a safety threat to trick-or-treaters.
- Set up Halloween decorations, including power cords, in a location that will not obstruct a pathway.
- Keep your pet in a closed room and away from the door that welcomes your neighborhood trick-or-treaters. Even the best family pet can attack unexpectedly.
We are sure parents are working to protect their children from injury harm during Halloween, but accidents still occur more often this time of year. And, if another’s wrongdoing was the cause of your child’s injury during a trick-or-treating outing or another seasonal event, the attorneys at Rhoads & Rhoads will be at your side to ensure they are cared for in the best way possible.
Owensboro and Madisonville Personal Injury Lawyers — No Recovery, No Fee
With offices in Owensboro and Madisonville, Rhoads & Rhoads represents families throughout Western Kentucky. We offer free initial consultations, and all cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, so there is no payment required upfront. This means we get paid only if we win or settle your case, and there is NO RISK involved to your family.
Call us at 888-709-9329 or contact us by e-mail to schedule an appointment with one of our Madisonville or Owensboro personal injury attorneys.