It’s hard to believe that Halloween is only a week away! Each year at this time, parents’ concern for their kids’ safety understandably increases due to trick or treating, fires from decorations, and other potential dangers. Jones & Swanson wants parents and trick or treaters to remember that the most common and dangerous type of accident on Halloween is that of auto accidents. Although the number of pedestrians killed in traffic mishaps on Halloween each year is small, this remains a dangerous part of the holiday season.
Many adults will celebrate Halloween by attending parties, which means consuming alcohol. This makes the number of drivers under the influence higher on Halloween than a normal week-night. In addition to inebriated drivers, there will be a great deal of extra traffic on neighborhood roads, making it more difficult to operate a vehicle safely.
Costumes, candy, and cold weather marks the Halloween season in Georgia, but trick or treating can become unsafe if proper safety precautions are not taken. Below are a few safety tips for the parents of metro-Atlanta trick or treaters:
- Make sure your trick or treaters’ outfits fit so they don’t trip and fall.
- Instead of purchasing masks for your child’s costume, use face paint. Masks can obstruct one’s view, which can lead to safety issues.
- Visibility is extremely important while trick or treating, and it can be achieved affordably. Glow in the dark sticks and bands can be carried or worn and are a fun way to keep children visible to other pedestrians and drivers. Reflective tape can be used on the sleeves and backs of costumes. If you have a young child, writing your phone number on the tape could be helpful if you get separated. The simplest method might be to have trick or treaters carry a flashlight with the light on at all times.
- Encourage trick or treaters to stay together in big groups with adult chaperones. These chaperones should also make sure they know not to run across streets or into the path of vehicles.
- If there’s not sidewalk where you’re trick or treating, walk on the far edge of the road facing traffic.
- When entering someone’s property to trick or treat, use the driveway instead of walking across the lawn. This prevents falls and is courteous to the homeowners.
- For older trick or treaters, it is important that parents discuss safety precautions before they go out on their own. Make sure to discuss the streets they will be on and set a time for them to be home. They should have a cell phone and feel comfortable calling 911 if they feel they are in danger. Make sure they know to only visit homes that are well-lit. They should never enter a home or go to the rear of a house to get candy.
- After trick or treating, check each individual piece of candy to ensure it’s not opened. If it is, throw it away immediately.
Not only to parents need to ensure their children understand the safety concerns associated with trick or treating, but you should take precautions as well. Many parents find it convenient to drive through neighborhoods stopping every few houses to let kids out. This method can be dangerous due to the combination of pedestrians and increased traffic. Instead, find a safe place to park and walk the neighborhoods with your trick or treaters. You may also want to post signs in your own neighborhood to encourage other parents to do the same.
If you or someone you know are injured in a pedestrian auto accident on Halloween, or any other day, contact Jones & Swanson immediately. We can ensure that you are properly compensated by the insurance company or other responsible party. We’re here to make things easier for you, so contact us at (770) 427-5498 for more information.