At the law office of Fisher & Talwar, we love the holidays, and Halloween is one of our favorites. This spooky season filled with goblins and ghouls, spiders’ webs, and witches’ brews, is fun and festive. And one of our most favorite parts of the holiday is the joy it brings to little ones, complete with costumes and pumpkins ready for trick-or-treating.
While we love Halloween as much as anyone, we also know that Halloween can be a dangerous time of year for young trick-or-treaters and that child-involved pedestrian accidents tend to increase on All Hallows’ Eve. Here are some tips for staying safe when crossing the street and trick-or-treating this Halloween.
Child Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Unfortunately, child pedestrian accidents are a leading cause of child injury and death in California and throughout the United States. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in a single year, there were nearly 6,000 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in the United States; that same year, one out of every five children under the age of 15 killed in traffic accidents that year were pedestrians.
Statistics also tell us that Halloween is the deadliest day of the year for child pedestrians—children are three times more likely to be killed by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year, according to federal highway safety data and reported on by The Washington Post.
While child pedestrian accidents are more common on Halloween, they don’t have to be. In fact, pedestrian accidents are completely preventable.
How to Stay Safe This Halloween
Parents should talk to their young trick-or-treaters about ways to stay safe and reduce their risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident this Halloween. Top safety tips include:
- Look both ways when crossing the stress. Children should always stop, look, and listen before crossing the street. Looking both ways helps to ensure that there are no oncoming vehicles. This is something that children and their parents should practice together every time they are out walking and come to a street for crossing, even if walk signals indicate that the pedestrians have the right of way. Remind children to walk, not run when crossing.
- Cross in pairs or groups. It is much safer to cross in a pair or a group, especially when visibility is low. This is because it is easier for a driver to see multiple people as compared to a single person. Trick-or-treating in pairs and groups is also safer for children in general, as there is safety in numbers.
- Attach reflective materials to children’s costumes. One way to help children be seen by drivers after dark is to attach reflective materials to a child’s costume and to make sure children are equipped with flashlights or have lights as part of their costumes. It can also help to choose costumes that are bright in color and therefore can more easily be seen by drivers, as opposed to dark colors which are harder to spot in the dark. Additionally, be sure that costumes don’t post tripping hazards—long capes and other hazards may increase the risk of a child falling when crossing the street. Children should also wear walking-appropriate footwear for trick-or-treating.
- Always trick-or-treat with an adult. Children, especially young children, should never trick-or-treat without the supervision of an adult. The role of the adult is to keep the group together, keep an eye out for strange activity, and ensure that streets are safely crossed. Young children should hold an adult’s hand when crossing.
Get Legal Help Following a Pedestrian Accident
There is nothing more tragic than a child being severely injured in a crash. If your child is involved in a pedestrian accident caused by the negligence of a careless, distracted, or drunk driver, our law firm can help you to bring forth a claim for damages to recover compensation for the value of your and your child’s economic and noneconomic losses. Our lawyers can build your claim from start to finish, investigate the accident, negotiate your settlement, and even file a lawsuit on your behalf. Our goal is to improve your chances of recovering your maximum settlement amount.
Stay Safe This Halloween
If your child will be trick-or-treating this Halloween, we encourage you to have a conversation with them about the risks of motor vehicles and tips for safely crossing the street. Our hope is that all children make it through the holiday without any serious injuries.
To learn more about your family’s rights in the event that your child is injured, please reach out to our California personal injury lawyers directly today for your free consultation. You can reach us by phone or online to get started. We are here to advocate for you.