Trick-or-treating should be a fun time for kids. But research shows children have a greater chance of being fatally injured by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year, pedestrian accident attorneys say. Halloween night is fraught with scary costumes and spooky decorations. But while the characters and sights are make believe, true terrors to exist throughout the Halloween weekend, and among them is an all-too-real spike in pedestrian accidents, attorneys warn.
Results of a joint study by State Farm Insurance and Bert Sperling of Sperling’s Best Places show that children have a greater chance of being fatally injured by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year. Consider that the US Census Bureau estimates there are 41 million trick-or-treaters ages five to 14 on America’s neighborhood streets each year (not including potentially millions more who are 15 and older) and you’ve got a frighteningly high number of young victims whose lives are forever changed or even ended each year. Among the findings of the study:
- An average of 5.5 child pedestrian fatalities occur across the nation each year on Halloween. That’s more than double the average 2.6 fatalities on other days of the year.
- Nearly a fourth of pedestrian accidents occurring on Halloween happen between 6 pm and 7 pm, known as the “Deadliest Hour” by emergency room workers and personal injury attorneys. Over 60 percent of these accidents take place in the four-hour period between 5 pm and 9 pm.
- While it may seem safest, the middle portion of a neighborhood block actually proved most dangerous in the study. Researchers found that over 70 percent of Halloween day pedestrian accidents occurred away from an intersection or crosswalk.
- Children ages 12 to 15 are most at risk, accounting for 32 percent of all child fatalities on Halloween. Children ages 5 to 8 followed, accounting for 23 percent of fatalities.
- Young drivers ages 15-25 posed the highest risk to trick-or-treating children, accounting for nearly a third of all fatal accidents involving child pedestrians on Halloween.
Halloween should be a fun and memorable experience for children. Keep your young trick-or-treaters safe by assuring that they choose costumes that are safe and highly visible to drivers. Avoid long, flowing costumes that can prove a trip hazard. Choose glow-in-the-dark costume props; have your children hold flashlights or glow sticks; or place reflective tape on your child’s costume, shoes, props or candy bags to help increase visibility.
Before they leave your home, go over the rules with your children, including insisting that they walk, not run while trick-or-treating and that they stay together throughout the evening. Finally, assure that your children are accompanied by a trusted adult at all times. If your child is injured while celebrating Halloween, get them to an emergency room immediately, then contact an experienced pedestrian accident attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell. Call 800-251-1111.