U.S. News writers estimate that about 41 million youngsters will be on the streets on October 31 for trick-or-treating. Dressed up in costumes, they walk from house to house, cross streets, and seek to collect as much free candy as possible. But Halloween is also a night synonymous with a doubled car crash fatality risk for children.
Understanding the Risk Factors
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains that a combination of risk factors creates the perfect storm.
- Drunk driving. Officials note that on this evening, 48 percent of crash-related fatalities involve a drunk driver. The rest of year, motorists under the influence of alcohol account for 31 percent of cases.
- More pedestrians on the roads. The increase in pedestrian traffic results in heightened injury numbers. On Halloween, 28 percent of fatalities are among those out walking; on any other day, pedestrians account for 14 percent of crash deaths.
- Inability to see children. The favorite color for Halloween costumes, black, is also the one that is the hardest to see after dark. When you add the fact that some kids get so excited that they dart out between parked cars and may not watch for traffic, the sad reality is an increased likelihood of an accident.
Protecting Our Youngest Pedestrians on Halloween
While you cannot control the behavior of drivers on October 31, you can work with the children in your care to better their odds of traffic safety. For starters, apply reflective stripes to shoes, the backs and sides of costumes, and also to gloves. Since masks sometimes limit a child’s field of vision, discourage mask wear while crossing streets. Whenever possible, accompany youngsters and ensure that they cross at marked crosswalks or exercise caution when there is none.
Do you have more questions about car accidents happening on Halloween? Contact us today.