October means Halloween to families around the nation as both children and adults embrace the fun season and all its activities. However, all the festivities can’t hide the fact that this time of year can also mean a rise in accidents, especially involving young trick-or-treaters. Excited kids going from door-to-door may not be thinking about the terrifying possibility of being hit by a car, but studies show it is all too common an occurrence.
The Halloween and Costume Association wants to change Halloween from October 31st to whatever the last Saturday in October may be. Almost 150,000 people signed their 2018 petition. So, should you and your family here in Texas be concerned about the possibility of a pedestrian accident during Halloween?
Should Halloween be on a Saturday?
The Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which is part of the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, shared data from over 24 years with the HCA. It found that when comparing fatal crashes for the last three Halloweens that happened on a Friday to the last three ones that happened on a Saturday, there was a significant difference. The data showed that Friday Halloweens saw 174 more fatal crashes than Saturday Halloweens.
That increase was enough for some people to now advocate for permanently moving Halloween to a Saturday. They say it will give families more of a chance to trick or treat during daylight hours, which should be safer. Further statistics back up this idea. The average fatal crash rate for Friday Halloweens and the day after it increases by 52%. Saturday Halloweens and the day after it only see an increase of 27%.
How much safer would it be?
The research conducted by the FARS showed that there was an increase of 82.6 % of fatal accidents involving kids on Halloweens that happen during the work/school week. It also proposes that there would be fewer injuries overall since parents would be better able to accompany kids for trick or treating. Halloween results in about 4,500 injuries each year. A large majority of parents don’t make use of items that could increase the visibility of kids, like reflectors or glow sticks.
For many families, any increased risk to their children is a risk not worth taking. If having Halloween consistently on a Saturday is the way to avoid that, they’ll support it. If you’ve lost a loved one to a senseless pedestrian accident at any time of year, you know all too well that you’d do anything to change that.