Many Massachusetts residents see October as one of the last good months to take daily walks during the year. Once November arrives, there will be significantly less sunlight thanks to daylight savings and it will start to get considerably colder in the state. Additionally, October ends with a holiday that parents heavily associate with long walks: Halloween.
Unfortunately, more people walking outside means more people who are at risk of traffic injuries or fatalities. Recent studies indicate that the rate of pedestrian fatalities increases by nearly 43 percent on Halloween evenings. You shouldn’t let that discourage you from taking long walks outside or making memories with your young trick-or-treater, but you should take precautions to make sure you or your loved ones don’t suffer from reckless drivers.
Stay visible while trick-or-treating
Since you and your child will be walking out in the dark, you need to make sure that the incoming drivers will see you. Just like with any other walk at night, Massachusetts residents are required to wear bright and reflective clothing. While that should be no problem for you, it could become a serious issue if your child is insistent on dressing up as a character that wears dark clothing like the Grim Reaper or Batman.
If you think your child will be difficult to see at night, put reflective tape on their costumes and trick-or-treat bags. A flashlight can also make them easier to see while helping them look ahead, but you must make sure you have fresh batteries to go with it. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends children to walk on well-lit streets and travel closely with a parent or group to make them easier to spot.
October 31 isn’t the only dangerous night
Even though Halloween night might have one of the largest pedestrian fatality counts of the year, you shouldn’t underestimate the days leading up to it. Halloween is a very popular holiday for parties.
If you notice someone in your neighborhood with several cars near their driveway or you live close to a college campus, be on the lookout for possible drunk drivers. They may not be as cautious as they are on Halloween night since there aren’t hundreds of children walking on the streets.
As you enjoy some of the last nice days to walk outside in Massachusetts for the year, it’s important to know that legal assistance is available for those who become unfortunate victims of motor vehicle accidents.