It’s one of the top three days for pedestrian injuries and fatalities.
Baltimore, Md (KM) Halloween can be a fun time for children as they go out to try and scare up some treats. But it can also be dangerous time, and kids need to be careful when they’re out trick-or-treating.
“Unfortunately, while Halloween is known for trick-or-treating and fun for children, it is also, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one of the most deadly days on our roadways, particularly as it relates to pedestrian injuries and fatalities,” says Ragina Ali, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Public and Government Affairs Manager for Maryland and Washington DC.
Safe Kids Worldwide says on average children are twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than at any other time of the year.
“More than 40 percent of Halloween crash fatalities involve a drunk driver,” Ali says, “We know that it’s less easy to see trick-or-treaters or children running around in dark clothing.,”:
She also says it’s become a very big drinking holiday, especially in the weekend leading up to Halloween as adults attend Halloween parties.
With Halloween night set for Tuesday, October 31st, AAA reminds motorists who will be out at that time to eliminate distractions while driving and focus on the road and trick-or-treaters. Also, slow down in neighborhoods and obey all traffic signals and signs, and give yourself extra time to react if children dart out into the streets. Look for children crossing the street. Those kids may not be paying attention to traffic and may cross between parked cars. Finally, turn on your vehicle’s lights, even during day time, so that your vehicle is visible.
As for trick-or-treaters, Ali says the little ghosts and goblins heading out to scare up some candy should wear flame retardant costumes which are light in color. The kids should also wear reflective tape on their costumes or carry glow sticks. “Ensure that costumes or disguises the children may be wearing don’t obstruct their vision. So you want to avoid full face masks because that makes it hard for them to not only be seen, but to see themselves,” she says.
Another safety tip is for parents is to remind children to stop only at well-lit homes. “Ask an adult or older child to supervise any child under 12 so you don’t want little kids roaming about unattended and unsupervised,” says Ali.
AAA also says children should travel only in familiar areas and along established routes. And don’t enter a stranger’s home or garage.
By Kevin McManus