With Halloween only a little over a week away, we urge parents to begin speaking to their children about Trick or Treating safety. It may seem like an unnecessary fear, but statistics show that children are twice as likely to be struck and killed by an automobile on Halloween as any other day of the year. Just last year, a five-year-old girl lost her life while trick-or-treating in DeKalb County. She was not walking on a busy roadway, but simply standing behind her mother’s vehicle when she accidentally stepped out in front of an oncoming minivan.
The attorneys and staff at Jones & Swanson want to play a part in improving trick-or-treating safety this year, so we have provided a list of safety tips that may help keep children safe while near Georgia roadways his Halloween:
- Costumes should fit appropriately so that children do not accidentally trip or fall into the path of traffic. Large headpieces or masks may obstruct one’s vision, so try to use face paint instead.
- All costumes should be decorated with reflective tape, wristbands, or other gear. Unfortunately, only 18% of parents report using reflective tape on their child’s Halloween costume. Reflective tape, wristbands, and other gear can be easily accessed at retailers such as Amazon.com and in sporting goods stores. Glow sticks may also increase visibility and can be purchased at most retail stores, including Walmart and Target.
- Children should not be allowed to trick-or-treat without adult supervision. Experts suggest not allowing children to trick-or-treat alone until the age of 12. Despite these suggestions, statistics show that 12% of children five and younger are allowed to trick-or-treat by themselves.
- Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If you must walk on roadways, face traffic and walk as close to the side of the road as possible. When you must cross the street, do so at crosswalks and use traffic signals.
- Do not allow children to use electronic devices while walking near roadways. This rule is important for adults to keep in mind as well. Cell phones and other devices are very distracting and could lead to an accident.
In spite of Halloween’s increased traffic safety risk, only 1/3 of parents report discussing Halloween traffic safety with their kids. Even if your child will be riding in a vehicle from door to door while trick-or-treating, they should still be educated about the dangers of busy roadways. It only takes on moment of distraction for a child to be involved in a pedestrian collision.
For more traffic safety tips, visit our website at www.awjlaw.com.