Days left until Halloween: Seven.
You know what that means! Halloween costumes, decorations, and props? Nope!
It’s time for me to be a wet blanket on everyone’s Halloween celebrations, by talking about safety precautions that both children and parents should be taking on Halloween.
Today, State Farm reported, “Kids have a greater chance of being fatally injured by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year, including the Fourth of July and New Year’s Day.” The company then listed findings from detailed analysis of their internal data:
- Over the past 21 years, State Farm found that one hundred and fifteen child pedestrian fatalities have occurred on Halloween. That averages out to 5.5 fatalities each year on October 31, which is double the average number of 2.6 fatalities for other days.
- Approximately one-fourth (26 out of 115) of accidents occurred between 6-7pm. Over 60% of the accident occurred in the 4-hour period from 5-9pm.
- Over 70% of the accident occurred away from an intersection or crosswalk.
- Most of the fatalities occurred with children ages 12-15 (32% of all child fatalities), followed by children ages 5-8 (23%).
- Young drives ages 15-25 accounted for nearly one-third of all fatal accidents involving child pedestrians on Halloween.
- Drivers ages 36-40 and 61-65 were involved in the fewest child pedestrian fatalities on Halloween. Together, these age groups accounted for nine child pedestrian fatalities (8%) in the 21 years of the study.
- Each of the last six years of the study (2005 – 2010) has seen Halloween child fatalities below the 21 year average of 5.5.
So what can parents and adults do to keep children safe?
The most noticeable thing is to pay attention to children while walking on streets located away from intersections and crosswalks. The higher percentage of injuries in these areas may be associated with the decrease in attention parents give to their children, because they assume such areas are safer.
In addition, parents may want to hold off on trick-or-treating during the hours immediately after the 5pm workweek release. This increase in vehicular traffic may be the reason for an increase in accidents between 6-7pm, when people are anxious to get home and start their own holiday.
Of course, almost all of this is pure speculation, and in no way am I an expert at interpreting data or preventing pedestrian fatalities. The purpose of today’s post is simply to reinforce the importance of safety during Halloween.