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Tips for staying safe on the roads on Halloween

When people think of holidays when the most accidents occur, most think of New Year's Eve and other holidays where there tends to be a lot of drinking. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Halloween is consistently one of the top three days of the year for pedestrian injuries and also fatalities.

Many Halloween accidents do involve drunk drivers. However, there are other factors that make this holiday a recipe for collisions involving pedestrians and drivers. Fortunately, some reasonable precautions by both parents of trick-or-treaters and those who are behind the wheel can make the night a safer one for everyone.

Parents can do a lot to help keep their kids safe:

-- If parents accompany trick-or-treaters, even if it means keeping a non-embarrassing distance away as they get a bit older, it can increase their safety.

-- Keep safety in mind when making, choosing or approving kids' costumes. Face paint is a safer alternative to masks because you don't have to worry about a mask slipping over your kids' eyes and obstructing their view. Costumes should include reflective tape, paint and/or florescent accessories such as light sabers.

-- Caution your kids about only crossing at intersections. They should never cross in the middle of the block and certainly not between parked cars.

-- Plan a route ahead of time with your kids. There are also apps available now that help you track your kids. If they veer from the planned route, you can still locate them.

Drivers need to exercise special precautions on Halloween night, when they're likely to encounter trick-or-treaters. It goes without saying that drinking and driving is unsafe. Beyond that:

-- Keep a lookout for kids who may dart out into the street or may be wearing dark costumes.

-- Try to avoid residential areas where you're more likely to encounter trick-or-treaters and other pedestrians. However, if you're going to a party or other event in a neighborhood, drive slowly and keep an eye out around you. Avoid using electronic devices and keep your music level down so that you can hear pedestrians.

No one wants their Halloween ruined by a trip to the emergency room or worse. However, if you or a loved one is injured in an accident, it's wise to seek legal guidance to determine what your options are for compensation from the at-fault party.

Source: WTSP Channel 10 News, "Halloween one of the top 3 days for accidents," Tammie Fields, accessed Oct. 30, 2015

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