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Stop for Ghosts and Goblins

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On: Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 11:30AM | By: Karen Cook

Stop for Ghosts and Goblins

With Halloween just around the corner, we need to remember how much bigger our cars are than the average trick-or-treater. This seems simple. It’s just common sense, right? Not so common according to the Nation Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Almost three times more pedestrian fatalities occur on Halloween than on an average day. Some of this is the fault of the pedestrian and some the fault of the driver, but these can be avoided if we all pay attention.

The worst time of day for pedestrians at any time of the year is between 4pm and midnight, which is prime candy time on Halloween. Children should travel in groups if at all possible, and should have an adult with them until they are 12. This doesn’t mean that a 12-year-old should be responsible for younger children. The candy in the bag is higher on a child’s priority list than watching for cars.

Children are also less likely to be overly concerned with crosswalks. If you are letting your child go trick-or-treating alone, make sure you emphasize the importance of using crosswalks and the danger of crossing between parked cars.

Check your child’s costume. Make sure masks don’t impede vision, paying special attention to peripheral line of sight. Also, make sure the costume is short enough to avoid being a tripping hazard. You can find lighted necklaces everywhere this time of year. Use them, especially if your neighborhood is not well lit. Little moving bodies need to be as visible as possible.

For drivers, be extra vigilant. Slow down and be aware of the pedestrians around you. Expect them to walk erratically and possibly dash in front of your moving vehicle. Don’t take shortcuts through neighborhoods and take extra care at crosswalks. Some neighborhoods limit traffic to drivers who live within its bounds. Respect these limits and go around.

For children, this is one of the best holidays of the year. For parents, it’s the one they worry most about. Don’t ruin the holiday because of something so preventable. Take care, be safe, and have a Happy Halloween!


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