Today the sun sets at 5:52 p.m. and children will be out to trick or treat.
Viewpoint Vancouver has written every year about how to ensure the safety of our most precious asset: children.
In Metro Vancouver the danger months for pedestrians are October to January. In these few months 54 percent of all pedestrian fatal or serious injury crashes happen.
And the numbers are numbing: in Metro Vancouver 1,500 pedestrians are injured in 2,000 vehicle driver crashes. The majority happen in intersections when pedestrians are legally crossing the road.
But in the United States, pedestrian deaths spike by 40 percent for one night: Halloween.
How to stay safe on Halloween? Here’s some advice for drivers, parents and advocates:
- Drive for the Day of Danger, not the speed limit in residential areas . If you must drive, go at slower speeds. The driving speed of 30 kilometers per hour increases driver reaction time and has a higher survival rate for a child in a crash than 50 kilometers an hour.
- If you can, do not drive between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., which is peak trick or treating time for young children.
- Remember that children under 12 years of age can not judge driver travel speed or distance, that this is a learned skill. Studies show that children children between the age of four and eight years have a 1,000 percent increase in the likelihood of being crashed into on this one night.
- Talk to your local city councillor or city hall connection about making Halloween “closed streets” from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Halloween night.
- As a parent remember that SUVs, vans and light duty trucks are much more likely to crash into pedestrians because they simply don’t see them. These vehicles have large “A” pillars in the front to prevent rollovers, which also makes for huge blind spots. Pick ups are 80% more likely and SUVS are 61 percent more likely than a sedan to be in a pedestrian crash. Minivans are 45% more likely to crash into pedestrians. (IIHS Statistics). Pedestrians are more likely to die because of the height of the hood of these vehicles that crash into vital organs.
- Remember that large SUVs also have “frontovers”. In 2018 58 children were killed by these SUVs and 3,000 injured in the United States. When these vehicle drivers are slow moving there is a frontal blind spot caused by the high hood . That bind spot can extend over 12 feet where children are not seen ,except if onboard cameras are operating.
Keep an eye on kids (even if they are not your own witches and goblins) and remember to report the treat treasure to the CBC Halloween Trick or Treat Count. Andy Yan Director of the City Program at SFU is teaming up with CBC . They will be heat mapping the city to find where kids went and where the most treats were.
You can take a look at the results of the 2021 Trick or Treat Count here.