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Preventing Child Pedestrian Accidents through Halloween

It’s Halloween, and that means more than haunted houses and sweet treats. It means some serious risks for pedestrian accidents. As a matter of fact, Halloween is the most dangerous night of the year for pedestrian accidents, especially among young children. According to a recent study, and a look over at more than four million records in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) from 1990 – 2010 for children 0-18 years of age on October 31, it was concluded that there have been 115 child pedestrian fatalities through the 21 years of analysis. That’s an average of close to 6 fatalities on the haunted night each and every year — compared to the average of about 2.6 on every other night of the year.

The deadliest hours for trick-or-treaters were from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. About 60 percent of all of the child pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night occurred during this time. About 70 percent of them happened at areas away from a crosswalk or an intersection and they were most likely to happen among children between the ages of 12 and 15, according to StateFarm.

Our Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident lawyers understand that Halloween is supposed to be a fun, lighthearted night for our youngster, but it’s our responsibility to make sure that this is all good, safe fun. We advise parents to take advantage of local businesses and downtown activities for trick-or-treating, but if you’re set on hitting the neighborhoods, please review and follow these safety tips:

-Plan a safe route so you know where they will be at all times. Set a curfew so children know when to come home. Make sure your child is old enough and responsible enough to go out by themselves.

-Make sure someone has a cell phone in every group of trick-or-treaters.

-To easily see and be seen, children should also carry flashlights or have reflective material adhered to their costume.

-Choose paths and neighborhoods than have sidewalks and crosswalks.

-Only cross the road at intersection areas, and remember to look right, left and right again before stepping onto the road.

-A large group of children is easier for cars to see. It’s also helpful for children to communicate about their route, so they’re more likely to stick together when trick-or-treating.

At the same time, we’re asking the motorists to be on the lookout for youngsters, especially in residential neighborhoods. When driving on Halloween night, remember to:

-Slow down and be especially alert. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.

-Watch for children darting into the street. Kids can cross the street anywhere, and most young pedestrian deaths happen at spots other than intersections.

-Don’t use a cell phone in the driver’s seat. A single distraction could lead to a tragedy.

-When pulling in or out of driveways stay alert of your surroundings.

-Do not pass other vehicles that have stopped in the roadway, they could be dropping off children. This is more common in rural areas but can happen anywhere.

-Ensure that you have a designated driver if you Halloween party plans involve alcohol.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact Freeman Injury Law for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-561-7777.

More Blog Entries:

Young Pedestrian Killed during Walk With Babysitter in Lake Worth, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, September 28, 2013

Broward Traffic Safety Watch: Focus on Intoxicated Pedestrians , South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, August 10, 2013

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