Friday, October 17, 2014

Do You Know the Greatest Threat to Children on Halloween?

Every year at this time we are reminded of the possible dangers that Halloween poses to our children and how to keep them safe. As parents we want to do everything we can to ensure that our little ones can enjoy this special day for children as safely as possible. Like other parents I spend quite a bit of time examining the various goodies that my “Little Princess” or “Frankenstein” collect during the course of the evening. In spite of all the rumors over the years the truth is that “tainted” candy is a rarity and many of the stories we hear are not even true. The real threat to children on Halloween is being the victim of a pedestrian accident.

The sad truth is that more children are fatally injured by a vehicle on this night than any other day of the year. Recently, State Farm Auto Insurance with the assistance of research expert Bert Sperling decided to do some research on the subject to determine exactly what risks our children face when trick or treating. The study involved more than four million records in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and focused on children ages 0 -18. These are some of the results of that study.

  • Over 70% of the accidents did not occur in an intersection or crosswalk. Most of the children injured were crossing the street in the middle of the block.
  • Almost ¼ of the accidents occurred between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. making this the most dangerous hour of all. Over 60% of the accidents occurred from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.
  • 32% of the fatalities were children between the ages of 12 and 15. 23% were between the ages of 5 and 8.
  • Unfortunately, 1/3 of the drivers involved were between the ages of 15 – 25. They were young and inexperienced. According to the stats drivers in the age groups of 36 -40 and 61 – 65 were involved in only 8% of the child related accidents making them the lowest risk according to age.

Please keep in mind that Halloween is only 2 Fridays away from today. In our busy schedules it is easy to forget that on this night we will be sharing the roads with more pedestrians than any other night of the year. Many of us that do not have children may not even realize that Halloween has arrived, but it has. If you find yourself in your vehicle this year, please take special precautions. Turn of your phone and radio in the car. Pay special attention when driving, especially in residential areas and remember that most child related accidents on this day do not occur at intersections, but in the middle of the block. Drive more slowly and don’t allow any distractions from passengers. Let’s make this the safest Halloween ever for all of our children.

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