Halloween night is a riskier time when it comes to pedestrian accidents in Hollywood and surrounding communities. There are more children on the roads and more pedestrians in the evening, when visibility is naturally lower. While kids are supposed to stay on the sidewalk and obey all traffic rules while trick-or-treating, the reality is that small children get excited and may run out in front of cars. While adults or older kids are supposed to be supervising younger kids, this doesn’t always happen.
It is important for drivers of all ages to pay extra attention on October 31 to ensure unnecessary accidents don’t happen. There are a few ways you can ensure your Halloween traffic experience is safe:
- Talk to teens who are new drivers. If your child has just gotten their license within the past few years, sit down and talk to them about the dangers of driving on Halloween night. Make sure they’re prepared for children who may be running out into the road or wearing costumes which can’t be seen easily. Make sure teens put away any mobile devices and stay extra vigilant for the unexpected on this night.
- Don’t let your kids play tricks. A big part of trick-or-treating has traditional been playing pranks, but some pranks can easily lead to car accidents. Any pranks that involve throwing pumpkins onto the road or any other object onto the road can cause cars to swerve and crash. Throwing anything at cars can be dangerous and even distractions on sidewalks or lawns can distract drivers and can cause an accident.
- Review pedestrian rules with kids—but don’t rely on them to be necessarily remember. This is a great time to review pedestrian safety with your kids. Remind kids about the importance of staying visible by using a flashlight. Also, remind them to work their way down one side of the street, cross at a crosswalk and work their way across the other side of the street. Emphasize how dangerous it is to walk between cars and to crisscross a street from house to house. That said, make sure you don’t rely too much on your kids to self-regulate. The excitement of Halloween can make even the most safety-conscious small child forget everything they have learned. Make sure you have a backup plan for ensuring that traffic rules are obeyed.
- Make sure Halloween activities are supervised. The best way to keep your kids safe on Halloween is to ensure proper supervision. If you’re taking out of a group of trick-or-treaters, make sure there are several adults around to ensure you have several sets of eyes on the kids at all times. Never let children wander off alone.
- Encourage good visibility. If kids insist on wearing dark costumes, make sure they have reflective tape or flashlights to make them more visible. Where possible, consider brighter colors or lighter colors which will show up more clearly in the dark. Encourage kids to look before they cross the street and make eye contact with drivers. Instead of using masks or big hats and wigs, encourage your child to choose face paint and costumes which will still allow for maximum mobility and visibility.
If you or your child are injured this Halloween, you can always contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation to discuss your options. Our offices in Hollywood, Homestead and Miami serve the entire South Florida region and our phone lines are open around the clock so you can always reach a live person.