Pedestrian Safety Laws in Ohio
Halloween is a fun holiday for kids and parents alike to walk around neighborhoods trick-or-treating. While this night is full of costumes and candy, it is also an extremely dangerous night for pedestrians. On Halloween, children are four times more likely to be killed while walking from house to house. Beyond trick-or-treating, pedestrians need to be careful and aware of their surroundings on any night. Vehicles often do not see pedestrians until it is too late so it is important to be aware of your surroundings at all times.
In 2010, there were on average, one pedestrian death due to a crash every two hours and a pedestrian injury every eight minutes. The people who are most at risk are older adults and children. Older adults account for 19% of all pedestrian deaths, and one in five children who were killed in a crash in 2010 were pedestrians. To increase safety measures, pedestrians should cross the street at designated crosswalks and stay on sidewalks when at all possible. If there are no sidewalks, pedestrians should walk in the street facing traffic.
If you decide to trick-or-treat on foot, take extra precautions to ensure your safety. When staying out after dark, be sure to carry a flashlight and wear some sort of reflective clothing. A little preparation can go a long way when it comes to staying safe. If you know the general area that you will be in, map out a route before you start. By mapping out the direction you will take you can plan safe routes that are around less traffic. Many drivers will be focused on their children trick-or-treating and may not be fully aware of other pedestrians around them.
While children are excited to go trick-or-treating on Halloween, they should never be allowed to go out by themselves. This may seem like common sense but many families feel comfortable letting their children go out alone on Halloween if they live in a safe residential area. It is important to remember that while the neighborhood may be safe, there are many people visiting the area that do not usually live there. Children are mainly focused and excited about going to as many houses as possible that they do not take the necessary precautions to remain safe and watch for dangers. Along with chaperoning children while they trick-or-treat, there should also be a conversation about safety before going out that night. Explain to children that there will be many people and many cars and that the dangers of getting hit by a vehicle are very real.
Taking a few minutes before heading out to celebrate Halloween to talk about safety measures could potentially save the life of your child. Mapping out a safe route, wearing reflective clothing and face paint instead of a mask can all reduce the chance of an accident happening.