Car crashes remain the leading cause of death among children ages 5 to 18. “According to 2018 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data out this week, pedestrian deaths increased for the fifth year in a row, up 3.4 percent from 2017. The numbers are particularly grim for American school-age kids. For children in the U.S. aged 5 to 18, car crashes remain the leading cause of death.”
On Halloween it’s 43 percent more deadly.
There has been a change in Daylight Saving Time to add an hour of daylight to Halloween, but that hasn’t changed the horrible statistics. There is a petition to change Halloween to a Saturday. But the real problem is cars and dangerous street design. When the data is acknowledged, there’s usually a marketing campaign that blames pedestrians. This time of year, the internet is plastered in Halloween-themed PSAs reminding children to wear bright costumes, carry flashlights, and stop looking at their phones. This is NOT the solution. It’s #toomanycars, #slowthecars, and #bancarsonhalloween.
THE MOST TERRIFYING PART OF HALLOWEEN FOR KIDS IS OUR DEADLY STREETS
It’s not the costumes or the candy—it’s the cars.
By Alissa Walker
On Halloween it’s much worse.
Halloween night is, on average, 43 percent more deadly for pedestrians than other autumn nights. The highest rates of fatal crashes were seen for kids aged 4 to 8 around 6 p.m.
But when the commuting drivers are removed from the equation, deaths seem to go down. A study by AutoInsurance.org used FARS data to compare 24 years of crash data by days of the week. Halloweens that fell on workdays had an 83 percent increase in deadly crashes involving kids compared to weekend days. The worst day? Friday. Since 1994, the three deadliest Halloween nights for kids have all been Friday nights.
Last year, an online petition sponsored by the Halloween & Costume Association got national momentum for trying to move the holiday to the last Saturday in October, in part to reduce car crashes. Now a revised petition wants to keep the date of Halloween the same, but add a separate National Trick or Treat Day that would be celebrated on that final Saturday.
Moving Halloween to Saturday doesn’t actually solve the problem: Our deadly streets.
This is one of the few PSAs we’ve seen that’s aimed at the DRIVER. Let’s get this message out loud and clear!
In addition, they’ve addressed the use of the dehumanizing term “pedestrian”:
“What do you think of when you hear that “…a pedestrian was hit?”
Your best friend?
Someone important in your life?
Probably not. We have put the plight of the person out of our minds and replaced it with the sterile pedestrian.
Now what do you think of when you hear that “…a young child was hit?”
It should feel extremely uncomfortable, maybe even offensive, to have these distressing emotions broached.
Yet, therein lies the problem: Instead of confronting safety issues head-on, our society has largely relegated this as taboo topic. We literally do not think about these crashes and evade the horror with euphemistic language.”
The University of Miami WalkSafe program is a pediatric injury prevention program working directly with public schools through our free 3-day educational curriculum and safety resources.
WalkSafe also encourages physical activity through walking to school and advocates for facilities and infrastructure improvements to the school environment by collaborating with local governments, traffic planners, school districts and the community.
APCSC would like to see driving restricted, or at the very least speeds strictly enforced on days like July 4th and Halloween. People walking, and especially kids walking are unpredictable and vulnerable when costumes, candy or fireworks are involved. Cars have no place in these events. Light sticks and flashlights are great, but the responsibility for injuries and deaths falls upon drivers of motor vehicles.
“Using National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, the researchers compared pedestrian deaths on Halloween nights with deaths on two evenings the week before and the week after. They found car-pedestrian accidents kill four more people on average on Halloween than on other days.”
HALLOWEEN CAN BE DEADLY FOR PEDESTRIANS – AND KIDS ARE MOST AT RISK
Trick-or-treaters beware: Halloween can be deadly for pedestrians and children face the greatest danger. New research found a 43 percent higher risk of pedestrian deaths on Halloween night than on other nights near that date.