There is no question that teachers across Florida have probably found their work a lot more difficult this week -- especially today -- owing to the looming presence of Halloween night. Indeed, children of all ages have likely been caught daydreaming about their costumes, their trick-or-treating cohorts and, of course their candy.
While this level of excitement is to be expected and Halloween is certainly one of the more entertaining times of the year for families, it's nevertheless important to recognize that it also presents an elevated risk of pedestrian accidents.
By way of illustration, consider that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that children are four times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year, while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that Halloween consistently ranks among the top three days for pedestrian fatalities and injuries.
In light of these alarming figures, it goes without saying that motorists must exercise the necessary vigilance on Monday night while driving through residential neighborhoods, driving below posted speed limits to allow for extra stopping time, watching for children crossing the street and activating headlights (even if it's still light out).
As for what pedestrians -- children and their parents -- can do to stay safe on Halloween, AAA has devised a few basic tips:
- Have everyone don reflective tape and carry flashlights facedown in treat buckets so as to enhance visibility
- Make sure costumes don't obstruct vision, and don't pose a tripping hazard due to props or improper fit
- Don't allow children under 12 to go out without an adult and, regardless of whether an adult is present, discuss acceptable trick-or-treating routes ahead of time
- Stay on sidewalks and, if none are present, walk facing traffic on the left side of the road
- Look both ways before crossing the street and only do so at corners, not mid-block or between parked cars
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a reckless driver, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional who can help you seek justice as soon as possible.