Halloween and Increased Child Pedestrian Fatality Rates
According to a 2019 study by JAMA Pediatrics, Halloween is one of the most dangerous nights to be a pedestrian. In the United States, children are more than twice as likely to be involved in fatal car accidents as pedestrians, and the risk increases on Halloween as trick or treaters take to the streets. Research shows that from 1975 to 2016, a total of 608 pedestrians died on Halloween night. Children aged 12 to 15 are the most vulnerable subgroup, accounting for 32% of all child fatalities, while children aged 5 to 8 accounted for 23%.
Many factors can contribute to the increased pedestrian fatality rates on Halloween night, including darker evenings, vision-impairing costumes, and negligent drivers. To remain safe this holiday, it’s extremely important to be aware of the potential risks your children might face, and how they can be avoided.
60% of fatal accidents occurred between the hours of 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Almost 70% of these accidents took place in the middle of the road when pedestrians weren’t using crosswalks at intersections. Additionally, young drivers between the ages of 15 to 25 posed the greatest risk to child pedestrians, accounting for almost one-third of all serious accidents on Halloween.
To ensure the safety of child pedestrians while out trick-or-treating, here are some tips that parents and guardians can follow:
- Young children should always be accompanied by a responsible adult when walking around in neighborhoods
- Both children and adults should put away their smartphones to minimize distraction and remain aware of their surroundings
- To increase night-time visibility, place reflective tape on children’s costumes
- Avoid costumes with masks that can obstruct a child’s vision
- Always use crosswalks at intersections
Here are some tips that drivers can follow to ensure the safety of child pedestrians on Halloween night:
- Move cautiously through neighborhoods where children may be trick-or-treating
- Watch for children wearing dark clothing during the evening
- Young, inexperienced drivers should not be encouraged to operate a vehicle
- Do not operate a vehicle after consuming alcohol
While Halloween should be a fun holiday for the whole family, serious and fatal injury accidents, unfortunately, can and do occur.
Call a New York Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Drivers have a responsibility to watch out for pedestrians, and they should be particularly cautious on Halloween when children are commonly out and about on busy streets, sidewalks, and intersections. A driver who fails to operate their vehicle responsibly and harms a child could be held liable for the injuries they cause.
Did a distracted, intoxicated, or otherwise negligent driver cause your child harm on Halloween? If so, the New York pedestrian accident lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP will stand up for your family and will demand justice. Call us at (212) 779-0057 or fill out a contact form to discuss how we can help you during a free, no-obligation consultation.