For kids, Halloween is a night full of excitement, fun, and trick-or-treating with friends. As we’ve alluded to many times on this blog, children represent one of the most at risk demographics when it comes to pedestrian accidents, due in part to their impulsive and energetic dispositions; on nights like tonight, it is important to discuss pedestrian safety with your child, to ensure that everyone can enjoy this special occasion.
Our lawyers have come up with a few tips for motorists, parents and children:
Parents’ Pre-Trick-or-Treat To-Do List
• First off, if your kids are under the age of 12 or so, coordinate with other parents to ensure that at least one older person will be present to chaperone for the night.
• Discuss routes ahead of time with your kids and instruct them to trick-or-treat only in familiar areas, this way you can easily determine where your child is going to be throughout their rounds.
• Provide your child with a flashlight to help them see better in the dark, and allow other vehicles to more easily see them.
• Sit down and educate your child on the importance of pedestrian safety rules, and urge them to stick to sidewalks and abstain from running.
• Once you have done this, establish a return time that specifies when your child must either be back home or have checked in with you.
Things to Keep in Mind When Designing or Altering a Costume
• If you children are going to be trick-or-treating after dark, make alterations to their costumes to ensure that they can be seen by motorists. This can be done relatively easily by purchasing retro reflective tape. If you don’t want to make alterations to your kids’ costume it self, it is also effective to put the retro reflective tape on their candy bags or sacks.
• Masks can obstruct a child’s vision and prevent him or her from seeing an approaching vehicle. Minimize the use of vision-restricting masks and try to pick ones with large eye openings.
• Try as we might, it is impossible to get every child trick-or-treating on Halloween to wear reflective tape and walk from house to house. At twilight and later in the evening when visibility is poor, watch for children in dark clothing.
• Be incredibly vigilant when watching for kids darting out from the side of the road, especially from between parked cars and near medians or curbs.
• Because of the small stature of most children, alleys and driveways can prove particularly hazardous because children get lost in cars blind spots. Exit these areas slowly and cautiously.
• Never assume you can predict what a child is going to do; be ready to react and practice defensive driving at all times.
Our attorneys have represented the victims of pedestrian accidents, as well as their families, for more than twenty years. We know that there is nothing more precious to parents than their children, and by following these simple tips, we hope that all of our readers can have a fun and safe Halloween night!