Children of all ages participate in West Palm Beach Halloween festivities. Safe Kids reported a recent survey of parent attitudes toward the holiday and found 89 percent of parents said their kids would be doing something to celebrate Halloween. Unfortunately, while this holiday is supposed to be fun and festive, kids also get hurt and die every year in car accidents.
When most people think of Halloween car accident risks, their minds go towards young children getting hit by cars. In fact, 31 percent of parents said they had concerns their child would be hit by a motor vehicle while trick or treating. These concerns are not unfounded, as Indiana University reports twice as many children are struck by vehicles than are involved in pedestrian accidents on any other day of the year. However, concerns about young children being struck are not the only worries parents should have. Older children may be in just as much, if not more, danger than children who are much younger.
Older Kids and Teens Face Significant Car Accident Risks on Halloween
According to Republican Herald, 32 percent of car accident deaths on Halloween involve children between the ages of 12 and 15. Older children and teens within this age group were the most likely to be killed in deadly pedestrian accidents. The higher death rate among kids 12 to 15 may be explained by the fact kids of this age are more likely to be out on their own without parental supervision and are more likely to take risks as a result.
Teenagers are not only at risk of getting hit by cars, but are also at risk of hitting other vehicles or hitting pedestrians themselves. Drivers between the ages of 15 and 22 were responsible for causing 33 percent of the pedestrian fatalities occurring on Halloween night. These younger drivers may not be experienced enough to deal with added traffic and higher numbers of pedestrians on the road, and they may also be more likely to take risks like being distracted, which prevent them from seeing kids before they strike them.
Teens and young adults may also consume alcohol on Halloween at parties, creating the potential for drunk driving car accidents. Of the parents reporting their kids participated in Halloween events, 29 percent said their child attended a party at a friend's house. When teenagers go to parties and parents are not closely supervising them, there is a possibility they will drink to celebrate the holiday.
Parents need to be aware their concerns about safety should not end when their children get older. While 77 percent of parents said they were concerned about their kids on Halloween and 79 percent have talked with their children about how to reduce injury risks, only 35 percent have annual conversations with their kids. Parents should remind older kids about the dangers of distraction while behind the wheel and about the importance of wearing brightly colored clothing, carrying a flashlight, and looking both ways when crossing the road. Parents whose teens are going to parties should also make sure kids are supervised and no drinking will be occurring.