Halloween should be scary because of ghouls and goblins, not because drivers are out-of-control or careless. As most Americans know, thousands of children take to our streets every Halloween, so it’s never been more important to take extra care tonight as you venture home.
The unfortunate truth is that Halloween can be dangerous for children since drivers fail to use extra caution on kid-busy roads. Car accidents involving pedestrian casualties occur twice more often on Halloween compared to other days of the year, EHS Today reports.
“Kids who are struck by cars are among the most severely injured children we see in the emergency department. Because of their height, when a car hits a child, the impact is to the head and torso. This puts the brain and internal organs at risk for serious injuries,” said Michelle Macy, M.D., lecturer of emergency medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School.
Driver tips for Halloween safety
Tonight is the time to take it easy on our roadways. Use the following tips to avoid car accidents, and most importantly, to avoid needless and tragic child accidents.
Use common sense and slow down
It practically goes without saying, but drivers must slow down tonight – and more than you ordinarily would. Kids (especially ghosts and even zealous witches) have a tendency to jump out of bushes, run into streets unexpectedly, and goof off with their friends. That’s why it’s so important to slow down so you can react to the road ahead.
No distractions while driving — ever — and especially on Halloween
Most drivers know that distractions like cell phone use, texting, makeup application, eating and more can instantly become dangerous behind the wheel. Just say no, and refuse your calls and texts during your drive home. As Amy Teddy of the Injury Prevention Program at University of Michigan explains, “Kids are focused on gathering candy and the excitement of the holiday rather than being careful while crossing streets, so it’s up to drivers to take extra precaution.”
Parents’ & kids’ tips for safe trick-or-treating
As drivers do their part to keep roadways safe, here’s what you and your child can do to pitch in as well.
Always use crosswalks and sidewalks
Parents, always use a crosswalk and sidewalk whenever possible with your child. If your child is old enough to go trick-or-treating with friends or other groups, make sure you give your pre-teen/teen rules to enforce a safe and happy Halloween.
We understand it may not be “cool” for your child to wear a reflector, but it can safe his/her life. Place the reflector on your child’s back, shoes, or wrists. Many Halloween superstores have them; but if you’ve forgotten yours, simple reflective tape should do the trick. No reflective tape? No problem: have your child carry a flashlight instead. Or use both reflective tape and a flashlight for added visibility.
Make sure costumes fit
Long, cumbersome, or ill-fitting costumes can pose a hazard, especially if tripping is a possibility. A bad fall can instantly put your child/teen at risk, especially is s/he falls into the street. Trim long hems, and avoid clunky or low-visibility masks.
About the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC
For San Diegans who have been injured in an accident, the Law Offices of Michael Pines can help. Experienced in child injury and child-related accidents, the firm has helped many injured people and families in San Diego seek appropriate and fair financial recovery. If your child has been injured, we can answer your legal questions for free. Call us now at 1-800-655-6585 or submit your case details online.