Maryland Halloween Safety Alert : Avoid Child Pedestrian – Auto Accidents

Halloween is such a fun and joyful time for children and parents alike. But as you’re dressing up those little princesses and superheroes for trick-or-treating this year, take steps to prevent motor vehicle accidents with pedestrians.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the risk for children being killed in a pedestrian traffic accident doubles on Halloween. The combination of trick-or-treaters darting in and out of the roadways at night, along with unsuspecting or inattentive drivers, can be deadly. The NSC reports that in 2017, October was the second-deadliest month of the year for motor vehicle deaths with 3,700 fatalities, topped only by July at 3,830 deaths.

The NSC and the American Academy of Pediatrics offer several suggestions for preventing the tragedy of pedestrian – motor vehicle crashes at Halloween:

  • Young children should always be accompanied by adults while trick or treating
  • Plan for costumes that are bright and reflective, and don’t use masks that obscure children’s eyes
  • Apply reflective tape to children’s Halloween costumes
  • Remind kids to put their electronic devices down, be aware of their surroundings, and LOOK before walking – not running – across the street
  • Instruct all children to cross in the crosswalks and not between cars or across driveways
  • Drivers use caution and watch for kids in the road, on medians and curbs
  • Exit driveways and alley ways with caution, being mindful of kids on the sidewalks
  • Be on the lookout for children in dark clothing at twilight and after dark
  • Discourage inexperienced drivers from getting behind the wheel on Halloween

Halloween is a festive holiday filled with fantasy (and sweet treats!), which kids look forward to all year. Unfortunately, with excitement can come an abandonment of the common sense safety measures we teach our children. Parents and drivers should plan ahead to keep our candy-toting little pedestrians safe. Take a few extra steps to make sure the costumes are the scariest things out there on the streets of our Maryland neighborhoods this Halloween.

Related Maryland Injury Attorney article:

Risks for Child Pedestrian Accidents Rise on Halloween
Oct. 30, 2013

Sources:

Halloween Safety On and Off the Road
National Safety Council  collected online Oct. 28, 2019

Halloween Safety Tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Pediatric collected online Oct. 28, 2019

The Real Halloween Horror: Kids Are Twice as Likely to Be Killed in Car Accidents
Fortune Oct. 31, 2017