Posted: 30-10-2016 In: Driving News
Halloween isn’t just a time for wearing scary costumes, it’s actually the scariest day of the year for parents and kids for a different reason. Trick-or-treating around the neighborhood leads to many vehicular accidents across the country. In fact, it’s the deadliest time of the year for child pedestrian fatalities. Studies show that Halloween has double the average fatalities for young pedestrians.
Here are Halloween safety tips for parents and their children.
1. Accompany your kids
Kids are distracted on Halloween. They fight among themselves, they strive to get certain candies, and they get sugar rush from eating too much sweets. All of these behaviors take their mind off cars that pass through their neighborhood. Some will run around the sidewalk, the road and on intersections.
To lower the risk of a pedestrian-vehicular accident, parents should accompany their children and watch out for road hazards. “If you’re driving through a residential neighborhood, make sure you go slower than usual. This will allow you to react quicker in case a child runs out into the middle of the street and in front of your vehicle.”
2. Use daylight
It’s safer to go trick-or-treating right after school, such as late afternoon. Use the daylight to make it easier for drivers to look out for kids who are walking around the neighborhood. Halloween child pedestrian fatalities are high because children play and run around during the festivities, and motorists have a harder time seeing them at night.
Drivers themselves are distracted because, on Halloween, their attention can be diverted by the costumes as well as kids getting treats at people’s homes. These diversions take motorists’ vision off the road. Many other kids will go trick-or-treating in the dark, so put reflective strips on their clothing and bags. You can also have your children wear bright colors such as neon yellow and orange.
Keep in mind that the use of masks can obstruct a child’s vision. Don’t assume that a child has his full attention on road hazards.
3. Limit the use of mobile devices
In the digital age, smartphones and other devices add more confusion to Halloween and increase the risk of pedestrian fatalities. Drivers and children should refrain from using mobile devices during trick-or-treating hours.
And parents should remain vigilant for road hazards when using their phones. Tell kids not to take selfies near intersections, driveways and busy sidewalks. It’s common sense to limit distractions, not increase them, during one of the most dangerous times of the year for pedestrians. Devices can be used as a mini-flashlight to shed light on darker areas of the neighborhood.
4. Put traffic cones around the neighborhood
If you’re part of a neighborhood watch group, you may want to coordinate with local officials to place traffic cones around your residential neighborhood, especially at intersections, driveways and busy sidewalks. These and other traffic tools tell drivers to stay alert for young pedestrians.
You can also ask for volunteers to help children cross the street during trick-or-treating hours. Halloween increases the risk of pedestrian accidents and it’s prudent to find ways to reduce road hazards. Parents should play a big role in the safety of their children.