Little pirates and pumpkins all across Illinois are beside themselves with excitement as they eagerly anticipate a night of treat-or-treating ahead of them on this Halloween evening. Parents are likely most concern about tainted candy and an epidemic of belly aches from too much candy, but what parents in Illinois should be most concerned about is pedestrian safety. Halloween is reportedly the deadliest day of the entire year in regards to pedestrian accidents involving children.
According to one study, children are at more than double the risk of being fatally struck by a vehicle on this spooky holiday. In the last 21 year, 115 children have been fatally struck by vehicles on Halloween. The hour with the densest concentration of accidents is usually from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
This is certainly not a call to cancel a day loved by many of all ages. Instead, this is a reminder to use extra caution this Halloween. Parents should set their trick-or-treater up for success by making sure that their child’s costume in no manner inhibits the child’s range of vision, so that the trick-or-treater is sure to see any approaching vehicles. Further, aside from reminding children proper pedestrian safety like looking both ways before crossing, parents should make sure that children will be in an outfit easily spotted by motorists. Whether this means giving them a flashlight or securing some reflective material on the child’s costume, visibility is crucial.
Further, drivers need to be mindful that children are excited, and if there is ever a night where children are less likely to be aware of their surroundings when entering the street, this is it. Drivers would do well to reduce their speed and be on the lookout for eager trick-or-treaters. Hopefully, with everyone working together to take precautionary measure, every ghost and goblin can have a Happy Halloween!
Source: Worcester.com, “Stay Safe: Halloween is ‘Deadliest Day’ for Child Pedestrian Deaths,” Oct. 31, 2012
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