Halloween can be a scary time for kids, literally, because they are at considerable risk of being struck in a car accident in Winston-Salem, Gastonia, or elsewhere in the state. Motorists may find small trick-or treaters difficult to spot because the activity occurs at dusk or dark when visibility is limited.
Our Asheville car accident attorneys want to remind motorists that October is Halloween Safety Month so be mindful of children walking to help reduce the risk of causing severe injury.
American College of Emergency Physicians reports that Halloween is the most dangerous day of the year for pedestrian accidents involving young children. For children under age 16, 38 percent of all pedestrian accidents happen between 3 and 7 p.m., which is prime time for trick-or-treating. Children walking at night in a costume can inhibit their ability to see, presenting a high risk for a fall accident. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are the most dangerous days of the week for pedestrian deaths, especially when Halloween falls on one of these days. Even though Halloween is on a Monday tris year, don't let your guard down.
Research is limited when it comes to the dangers of pedestrian deaths on Halloween but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at data from 1975-1996 and determined that children were four times more at risk of a pedestrian accident involving a motor vehicle on Halloween than any other night of the year. Data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) narrowed down the number of pedestrian deaths involved in a motor vehicle crash on October 31 between 4 and 10 p.m. From 1975-1996, researchers found that 89 deaths occurred for children between the ages of 5-14 years old. This equates to an average of four deaths per year on Halloween between 4 and 7 p.m. for this age group.
AAA Exchange offers these Halloween safety tips:
-Use peripheral vision to be alert for children on front yards or walking away from the front porch of a house.
-Use extra caution when pulling into or out of private driveways or alleys.
-Use your headlights, even during daylight hours, so that your vehicle becomes more visible.
-Be prepared for children crossing streets mid-block and not at a designated crosswalk.
-Keep an eye out for children walking on sidewalks, curbs, medians and roadways.
-Avoid wearing a costume with a mask that covers your entire head when possible. Use nontoxic face paint to avoid problems with vision.
-Props should be blunt-tipped and flexible to avoid serious injury if a fall occurs.
-Place reflective tape on your costume if you plan to go out at night. Reflectors make children more visible.
-Never shine a flashlight into the eyes of a motorists, instead place it face down in your treat bucket.
-Choose homes that are clearly participating in Halloween activities with well-lit porches or driveways.
-Always trick-or-treat with an adult present.
Keep your children safe this Halloween by going over some helpful rules and tips to help them avoid being struck by a car. Remind them to steer clear of vehicles by crossing at intersections and making themselves visible at all times.
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