Pedestrians face significantly greater risk of traffic accidents in Washington D.C. on Halloween night, as compared with other nights of the year. Indiana University reports double the number of pedestrian collisions on Halloween night. If drivers, parents, and children all consider some basic safety tips, the death rate can hopefully be brought down so there is not so much danger for children who participate in Halloween activities.
10 Tips for Preventing Halloween Car Accidents
To help kids (and adults) stay safe on Halloween, consider these 10 safety tips.
- Drivers need to stay sober. On Halloween night, 23 percent of pedestrian crashes are caused by drivers whose blood alcohol concentration is over-the-limit.
- Drivers should avoid distractions. Children may behave in unexpected ways on the road because they are excited as they trick-or-treat. Drivers need to stay focused so they can spot kids and stop before they hit them.
- Drivers should consider using headlights earlier than normal. The majority of collisions with pedestrians on Halloween night happen between the hours of 4:00 PM and 10:00 PM. Turning headlights on earlier makes it easier for drivers to see kids out trick-or-treating early.
- Drivers should avoid speeding. If a driver goes more slowly, he is more likely to be able to stop before hitting a child. Slower speed crashes are also less likely to be deadly than crashes in which drivers are going faster.
- Drivers need to exercise extra care in residential neighborhoods. Kids are likely to be out in these areas.
- Parents should talk to their kids about Halloween safety every year. Only 35 percent of parents talk with their children annually about the risks of trick-or-treating.
- Parents should avoid letting young children trick-or-treat alone. Twelve percent of parents allowed children age five and under to trick-or-treat without adult supervision, which can be dangerous because older children are not always good at watching younger siblings on the roads.
- Parents should be aware of risks older kids face on Halloween. Children ages 12 to 15 are the demographic group with the highest rate of fatal pedestrian motor vehicle collisions on Halloween night. Older kids out with their friends can take unnecessary risks that increase the chance of crashes.
- Kids should wear costumes with a focus on safety. Masks that obscure a child's vision can make it more dangerous for kids to cross the road and avoid cars.
- Kids should avoid crossing in the middle of the road. Republican Herald warns 70 percent of the fatal pedestrian collisions involving children occur in the middle of the road, not at crosswalks or at corners.