Halloween is one of the most popular holidays for kids, with 89 percent of parents indicating their children intend to participate in celebrating. The majority of kids - 73 percent - will be trick or treating, according to a survey on Halloween attitudes conducted by Safe Kids.
Although many kids are going to be out enjoying the holiday, parents in Hartford, Waterbury and throughout Connecticut are rightly concerned about car accidents. There is a significant risk of children getting hit by cars. While parents can try to mitigate the dangers, ultimately drivers need to be aware of higher pedestrian traffic on the roads and must make careful choices and ensure they are operating their vehicles safely.
Car Accident Dangers on Halloween Night
When asked about Halloween festivities, 77 percent of parents said they had concerns about their children's safety on Halloween. Of those parents who were concerned, 31 percent said their primary fear was their child would be in a car accident.
These fears are not unfounded. Republican Herald indicated Halloween is the deadliest day of the year for pedestrian fatalities, with twice as many kids dying on Halloween compared with any other day of the year. The majority of these deaths happen between 4:00 and 10:00 PM and 70 percent occur outside of intersections of crosswalks when kids run in the middle of the road.
Most parents are already taking smart steps to try to combat the risk to their kids on Halloween. For example, 75 percent of parents said they consider safety when choosing their children's costumes and the same percentage of parents said they have never allowed their children to go out trick-or-treating alone. In addition, 79 percent of parents have had a talk with their kids about staying safe on Halloween and 35 percent share their concerns with their children every single year.
With parents already doing so much to try to combat car accident dangers, a lot of responsibility falls to drivers who need to make sure they are also doing the right thing.
Drivers must be aware there will be more kids out trick-or-treating and should be especially watchful for pedestrians on Halloween. This means drivers should avoid distractions at all times, staying off their cell phones and not using electronic devices while driving. Younger motorists need to be especially careful to avoid distractions and to focus on safety on Halloween, as 33 percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween were caused by drivers between the ages of 15 and 25.
In addition to avoiding distractions, drivers should also consider turning headlights on early, avoiding residential areas where lots of kids will be trick-or-treating, and going slower than they normally would. Children hit by a slower moving vehicle are more likely to be able to survive the crash. Drivers going slower will also be able to stop more quickly, because slower speeds mean shorter stopping distances. Many tragedies could be averted if a driver just made sure to stay within the speed limit or below.