While parents of young children from Darien to Shelton know Halloween can be a dangerous night, parents of older kids may not be as concerned about their child's safety on Halloween. Only 31 percent of parents say they are worried about the risk of car accidents on Halloween, according to research from Safe Kids.org.
Unfortunately, every parent across Fairfield County should be worried about Halloween risks, as older teens could become involved in crashes as pedestrians or when driving their cars. Older teens and young adults actually face the most substantial car accident risks on Halloween night.
Preventing Fairfield County Teen Car Accidents on Halloween
When asked if their children plan to celebrate Halloween night, 29 percent of parents said their children would be attending a party at a friend's house.
If your teenage son or daughter is going to a party, make sure you know who is hosting the event, whether parents will be present at the party and supervising, and whether alcohol will be served. Connecticut enforces a strict zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving among those under age 21, with zero percent alcohol being the legal limit. According to Patch.com, 44 percent of car accidents on Halloween night and Halloween weekend involve drivers who have consumed too much alcohol and are over-the-legal limit of .08 percent blood alcohol concentration. You do not want your teen to be one of the drunk drivers on the roads.
If your teen is going to be driving at all on Halloween, you should also warn your child about the added risk of pedestrian crashes. There are many more children and other walkers out on Halloween night, and an inexperienced teenage driver may not see them or know how to react to stop in time when a child runs in the path of a vehicle.
On Halloween night, drivers between the ages of 15 and 25 caused 33 percent of pedestrian fatalities according to Republican Herald. Parents want to make sure their teens are not among the drivers who could become responsible for causing serious or fatal accidents. Make sure your child avoids distractions, stays within the speed limit, and exercises extra care in residential locations.
Even parents whose teens are going trick-or-treating instead out out to parties have cause to be worried about their kids. There is double the risk of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night compared with other nights of the year, and Republican Herald indicated the majority of the pedestrian deaths involved kids between the ages of 12 and 15.
Children age 12 and older are more likely to be out trick-or-treating without parental supervision and thus may be more likely to take dangerous risks, like crossing the road outside of designated areas. Of the pedestrian accidents on Halloween night, 70 percent happened outside of normal crossing areas like intersections or at corners, with most crashes occurring in the middle of the road.
Only 35 percent of parents have an annual conversation with their children about the risks of crashes on Halloween. This year, make it a point to talk with your older child about he or she can avoid getting hit by a car and can avoid causing a crash which hurts others. By making safety a priority, you could help contribute to bringing the Halloween death rate down.