Cars and Kids Do NOT Mix
While the circumstances were not exactly the same as kids out trick-or-treating, there were 2 pedestrians killed by cars just last week in Southwest Florida. Any time you combine people walking in a roadway and motor vehicle traffic, you have the potential of a very serious accident.
With Halloween comes excited children, anxious to head out to show off their costumes, and snag as much candy as possible. Responsible parents will do everything they possibly can to ensure their child's safety, and make sure they make it back home without a tragic incident.
According to statistics compiled by the National Safety Council, there were 6,700 pedestrian deaths in the U.S. in 2015. About 17% of those deaths were the result of a pedestrian trying to cross a road improperly, and about 15% were the result of low lighting and wearing dark clothing at night.
Perhaps the most important statistic to focus on during Halloween is that 15% of those pedestrian deaths were caused by kids between the ages of 5 and 9 suddenly darting out into the road. Kids are more than twice as likely to be killed by a car on Halloween than during any other time of the year.
What You Can Do to Keep Your Kids Safe
Of course, you want to help keep your little ghouls and goblins safe when they're out and about this Halloween. Here are some tips:
- An adult should always accompany kids
- If you have older kids who want to go out alone, set a route and a time for them to be home
- Costumes should have some type of reflective material, especially if the clothing is a dark color
- Make sure your child can see clearly through any mask they're wearing
- Don't pick a costume that is too heavy or difficult for your child to walk in comfortably
- Go with a group of other kids and parents, and always stay together
- Don't eat any candy until they've returned home
- Never go inside anyone's house
- Stay on well-lighted streets
- Don't approach dark houses
- Don't dart out into the street
- Kids should leave their cell phones at home to avoid unnecessary distractions
If you are out on the roads on Halloween night, there are some things you can do behind the wheel to avoid a catastrophic pedestrian versus car accident:
- Slow down!
- Keep an alert eye out for kids walking in or near the roadway
- Look twice before pulling into or out of a driveway
- Don't let your inexperienced teenage driver behind the wheel on Halloween night
“Kids are naturally excited about getting their costumes on and going out to get candy, so it's up to the parents to make sure they do it safely”, says Fort Myers personal injury lawyer Sheba Abraham. “Using common sense and going along with your kids is the best way to avoid a catastrophic Halloween incident.”
What To Do if You're Hurt
If you do have the unfortunate circumstance of one of your kids being struck by a car, there are certain things you should do immediately.
- Seek medical attention right away, even if you think everything is fine
- Get contact details from the driver of the car; driver's license number, insurance company name and policy number, phone and address of the driver, etc.
- If possible, take photos at the scene
When someone is struck by a car, there are many problems that can come up when you're dealing with adjusters and attorneys from a giant insurance company. (Yes, they have a LOT of attorneys, which is why you should consider having us in your corner). Getting an insurance company to pay you what you feel is a fair and reasonable settlement amount for any injuries, future medical care or your property damage is very difficult. Their job is to pay you as little as possible, or to even deny your claim outright.
Our years of experience in negotiating on behalf of our clients mean we know what to do – and what not to do – to ensure you receive maximum financial compensation for your injuries. No, not every accident injury means you should have an attorney on your side, but it only takes one simple phone call to 239-461-5508 to find out, and we never charge a thing to answer your questions. We're here to help.
Let's all do everything we can to make sure all our kids are safe this Halloween, and don't encounter any truly frightening car versus pedestrian accident scenarios.