October 30th, 2023|
As the leaves turn orange and pumpkins adorn front porches, the excitement of Halloween fills the air. While Halloween is synonymous with fun costumes, candy, and spooky themes, it’s crucial to remember that safety should never take a back seat.
Halloween is one of the deadliest days of the year for child pedestrians. On October 31, children between 4 and 8 are 10 times more likely to be killed in a pedestrian accident, with the highest risk around 6 p.m.
To ensure your family has an enjoyable Halloween, here are some practical safety tips for a safe trick-or-treating experience for you and your little ghouls and goblins.
As you prepare to take your little monsters, superheroes, and princesses out for a night of trick-or-treating, safety should be as much a part of your Halloween checklist as costumes and candy bags. Here’s what you can do to minimize the risk of injuries in a pedestrian accident:
- The importance of visibility: When it comes to Halloween costumes, it’s not just about looking fantastic; it’s also about being seen. Dark costumes might seem more on-theme, but they can make you or your child virtually invisible to drivers after sunset.
To mitigate this risk, opt for costumes in bright colors, or add reflective tape to darker outfits. Accessories like glow sticks and flashlights can further enhance visibility, making it easier for drivers to spot you.
- Age-appropriate costumes: When selecting a costume, ensure it is age-appropriate and doesn’t block vision or movement. Masks can limit peripheral vision, and overly elaborate costumes can be hard to walk in, increasing the likelihood of tripping and falling.
Younger children should wear costumes that allow them a full range of motion and use face paint instead of a mask for unobstructed sightlines.
- Well-fitting shoes: No matter how tempting it might be to wear platform boots or witchy heels to complete your outfit, safety should come first. Ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoes can lead to trips and falls, which could result in serious injuries.
- Obeying traffic rules and signals: It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and forget basic traffic rules. Always use crosswalks, obey traffic signals, and make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
- Adult supervision and designated meeting points: Young children should never go trick-or-treating without adult supervision. For older kids who are trick-or-treating with friends, it’s a good idea to establish designated meeting points and check-in times to ensure everyone is safe and accounted for.
- Stick to known routes: When planning your trick-or-treating route, stick to familiar neighborhoods and streets. This reduces the chance of getting lost and ensures you’re in an area where neighbors recognize you.
Avoid poorly lit areas or streets with little foot traffic. If older kids are going without adults, remind them to stay on agreed paths and avoid shortcuts through unfamiliar territory.
- Inspecting treats before consumption: Before diving into that mountain of candy, take a moment to inspect all treats. Check for any signs of tampering, such as tears in wrappers or unfamiliar brands. For younger children, parents should remove any choking hazards like small toys or hard candies.
On Halloween, drivers can also help ensure the safety of pedestrians, especially excited trick-or-treaters. With children often dressed in dark costumes and darting between houses, drivers must exercise extra caution. Here are a few helpful tips:
- Reduce speed in residential areas: With many excited children out and about, driving slowly ensures you have more reaction time to avoid any unforeseen circumstances.
- Activate headlights earlier: Turning on your headlights early helps you see better in the dusk and makes your vehicle more visible to pedestrians.
- Avoid distractions: Keep your phone and other distractions aside, ensuring your full attention is on the road.
- Be vigilant near driveways and curbs: Children might suddenly dart out from these areas, so use extra caution, scanning the area for pedestrians.
- Always yield to pedestrians: Prioritize the safety of people on foot by yielding at crosswalks, unmarked intersections, and stop signs.
- Approach driveways cautiously: When pulling in or out of driveways or retail stores, look out for kids crossing or nearby.
- Never drink and drive: Along with pedestrian accidents, Halloween increases the risk of alcohol-involved accidents. Do not drink and drive — if you drink, plan to stay the night, use a rideshare service, or ride with a sober driver if you consume alcohol.
As we celebrate this spooky season, let’s make safety a priority. Taking simple precautions can make a difference in ensuring a happy and secure Halloween experience for everyone.
If you or a family member is injured in a Halloween pedestrian accident, speak to one of our California pedestrian accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers. We can review your claim and help you seek compensation from the negligent party who caused the injuries.
By following our tips, we hope this Halloween offers you and your family a fun, safe evening. Wishing you all a very happy and safe Halloween!