Illinois parents: be aware of dangers when your kids trick-or-treat

Halloween should be a fun and spooky time, but often is also a dangerous time for trick-or-treaters walking near traffic.

Halloween may be one of the most exciting times of the year for kids in Chicago, but unfortunately it can also be one of the most dangerous. During a holiday that should be harmless fun, many children are instead at risk of being hit by cars.

October is, in fact, the second most dangerous month in terms of motor vehicle crashes, especially those involving pedestrians. According to information provided by the National Safety Council, 3,200 people across the country were killed in crashes in 2013. Many of these deaths, sadly, occurred on Halloween, as children made their way through neighborhoods to trick-or-treat or families traveled to other areas of town for more candy.

Common road dangers during Halloween

What are the particular traffic hazards that trick-or-treating children face on this spooky night? After donning a costume and heading door-to-door, children may be in danger of the following:

  • Dark or non-illuminated costumes not providing enough visibility to passing motorists
  • Excited children darting across the street without first looking for cars
  • Inattentive drivers not looking for children before backing out of driveways or turning out of alleys
  • Increased traffic and intoxicated drivers raising the risk of a crash

It is always a good idea for parents to go trick-or-treating with children, even the older ones. According to SafeKids.org, children have difficulty judging the distance and speed of approaching vehicles until about age 10.

When confronted by a vehicle many times their size and weight, even at a slow speed, the potential for children to be seriously harmed in a pedestrian accident is great. The National Center for Biotechnology Information states that common pedestrian injuries for children include head trauma, as well as injuries to the pelvis and legs.

Illinois teenager hit three children on Halloween last year

An accident in Illinois that occurred on Halloween in 2014 illustrated just how easily children may be injured or killed in accidents while walking. The Rock River Times reported that on Halloween night last year, a 17-year-old girl struck and injured three children walking along the street in Roscoe. The girl received charges, including three counts of failure to report an accident involving personal injury. Fortunately, none of the children were killed. It would not be unusual for the families of the children involved to decide to pursue compensation against the responsible party for their medical expenses.

The injuries anyone can receive from a pedestrian accident, child and adult alike, are often devastating and life-changing. If you or your child were injured by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation. It may help to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about the next course of action to take.