There may be fewer trick-or-treaters this year due to coronavirus concerns, but plenty of kids will still be out there trying to fill up their candy buckets. While some parents still fear their kids getting poisoned candy or razor blades in an apple (which is largely a myth) there’s a real threat to kids on Halloween: vehicles.
Kids Are More Likely To Be Fatally Struck by Cars on Halloween
According to the Washington Post, kids are three times more likely to be fatally struck by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year. From 2004 through 2018, the average Halloween saw 54 pedestrians under the age of 18 killed by cars. That compares to 16 such deaths on a regular day.
What makes Halloween so dangerous for pedestrians? It’s the combination of tens of millions of trick-or-treaters walking the streets. Plus, most of the activity happens around the twilight hours. Twilight is the most dangerous time of day for pedestrians. It also doesn’t help that most trick-or-treaters are children, whose small size makes them harder to spot by drivers.
A study last year by JAMA Pediatrics found that kids age 4 to 8 were nearly 10 times more likely to be killed by cars on Halloween than any other night during the fall season. JAMA also found that 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. was the deadliest hour, likely due to a combination of the end of rush hour and the beginning of sunset in many parts of the nation.
JAMA explains that Halloween pedestrian deaths “highlight deficiencies of the built environment (e.g. lack of sidewalks, unsafe street crossings), shortcomings in public policy (e.g. insufficient space for play), and failures in traffic control (e.g. excessive speed).”
How to Protect Your Children This Halloween
So, what can parents do to try to keep kids safe this Halloween? Consider putting reflective tape on costumes to try and make kids more visible. Coach children to look for cars often and stay a safe distance from the road, using sidewalks whenever possible. And parents themselves should be vigilant in their driving behaviors, pay extra attention, drive slower, and certainly don’t drive after drinking.
If an Injury Occurs on Halloween, Our Texas Attorneys Will Be Here to Help
Ted B. Lyon & Associates, based in Dallas, is one of Texas’s leading personal injury law firms. If your child is injured in a car accident on Halloween or any other time, our lawyers are ready to protect your rights. Call 866-503-4864 or simply send us a message to schedule a free consultation.