According to AAA and the NHTSA, Halloween is the single deadliest day of the year for child pedestrians. They are three times more likely to be struck and killed on Halloween than on any other day.
Contributing factors include kids on the roads, costumes that do not reflect light, distracted driving, impaired driving and inadequate supervision, among other factors.
As a public safety advocate and personal injury attorney for 30-plus years at Fennemore, I am too familiar with tragedies that result when parents, children, Halloween revelers and other drivers are not prepared for the unexpected on Halloween.
Some years ago, my wife and I were taking our two boys out to trick-or-treat in our neighborhood. We were walking in a pack crossing the street around a blind curve. It was a small, neighborhood street. As we were crossing, we heard the loud rumble of an engine.
We quickly moved to a secure place on the sidewalk. As we did, a teenager in our neighborhood sped by in a hotrod, never seeing us. The lesson we learned is that the other guy will do something dangerous. It’s up to you and your children to be prepared for that.
Just like we are told to drive defensively, on Halloween, and frankly anytime, we should be “defensive pedestrians.”
I think that parents should be hyper-vigilant about creating a safe environment for their kids if they want to trick or treat. That includes dressing kids in light colored, reflective and flame-retardant costumes that do not obstruct their vision.
At the same time, children under 12 should be carefully supervised and be taught never to enter a stranger’s home or garage. According to Autoinsurance.org, Halloweens result in an average 14% rise in fatal car crashes, regardless of what night the holiday falls.
Here are some tips for those who need to drive on Halloween that will help keep vulnerable, trick or treating children safe:
Some tips for parents to keep their children safe while trick-or-treating:
Editor's note: Marc Lamber is a Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent-rated trial attorney and public safety advocate and a director at Fennemore Craig, where he chairs the Personal Injury Practice Group.
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