LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — With Halloween just around the corner, the American Red Cross wants to give parents, drivers, and trick-or-treaters safety tips to keep kids safe.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the risk of pedestrian fatalities is 43 percent higher on Halloween than on any other night.
The study, done by sifting through 42 years of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, also revealed that kids aged 4 to 8 are ten times more likely to be hit by a vehicle on Halloween than any other night.
“Trick-or-treaters running from house to house with friends may not be cautious on Halloween,” Rachel Flanigan, Executive Director of the American Red Cross, Southern Nevada Chapter, said.
According to the Red Cross, most child pedestrian fatalities happen in residential neighborhoods. The riskiest time for trick-or-treaters is between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., the organization said. That is the time when sunset, rush hour, and trick-or-treating time converge, according to the JAMA research.
“As drivers, we must be vigilant and prepared for children who might suddenly run into the street,” Flanigan said. “Especially this year, with Halloween falling on a Tuesday, people will be driving home from work during trick-or-treat time.”
To help “ensure that a night of trick-or-treating doesn’t turn tragic,” the American Red Cross of Southern Nevada shared some crucial safety advice.
For drivers, the Red Cross said to drive slowly and allow extra time at stop signs, lights, and crosswalks to avoid accidents. It also recommends that drivers turn their headlights on at dusk or slightly earlier and avoid residential areas when able.
Trick-or-treaters should be sure to walk and not run. Use sidewalks if they are available, and when crossing the street, use crosswalks or stop signs. If there are no sidewalks, the Red Cross recommends walking on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
Trick-or-treaters should also be visible. Use reflective strips, glow sticks, or flashlights to enhance visibility.
For both drivers and trick-or-treaters, the Red Cross said to minimize distractions.