Indiana’s leaf-covered lawns signal the Fall season for all Hoosiers, but for children it represents something much greater. As October winds down, youngsters throughout our state are prepping for perhaps the greatest kid-holiday of the year: Halloween!
It is a time for pumpkin decorating, festivals, costumes of all types, and trick-or-treating for a haul of sweets that, if rationed strategically, should last several weeks. (Dentists everywhere are wincing!)
However, the excitement of trick-or-treating can easily lead children to ignore their immediate surroundings, become overly excited, and disregard basic traffic safety rules, such as keeping out a watch for vehicles driving in the road or pulling in and out of driveways. Parents can also be easily distracted by trying to take pictures, or talking with fellow chaperones throughout their walk.
It seems that each time around this time of year there is a story of a grieving parent whose child was seriously injured, or worse, due to an avoidable Halloween accident. This is why it is so important for parents to talk with their child about traffic safety and and other Halloween safety tips before venturing out to trick-or-treat.
Boulton Law Group has put together the following Indiana Halloween safety tips for parents and their children as this year’s trick-or-treating is close to kick-off:
- Always have one or more adult chaperones with any trick-or-treaters. Having responsible, sober adults guide kids throughout Indiana’s neighborhoods will help to ensure the safety of children from otherwise avoidable accidents, such as being injured in traffic.
- Always be aware of vehicles, and never assume you have the right of way on a dark night, especially the evening of Halloween. Drivers can be particularly distracted on Halloween, as they may be making the rounds with a car full of young trick-or-treaters. It is also not uncommon for drivers to not be watching the road, as they themselves are taking in the sights of the holiday.
- Children should never attempt to cross the road without an adult leading the way, and no one should ever assume a driver is going to stop just because they are slowing down or appear to be giving you the chance to cross. You should always make direct eye contact with the driver to assure that they are aware of you and your group before attempting to cross. (Of course, children should also never walk in the road no matter the familiarity with the neighborhood, or the perceived safety.)
- Always make yourself visible to others. Adults should always be carrying flashlights throughout the walk, and every trick-or-treater should be wearing some type of reflective clothing/tape and blinking safety light on their costume(s). In addition to helping make children more visible to traffic, it also helps to ensure a youngster does not become lost. (All-dark/black costumes should never be worn.)
- The more the merrier! Trick-or-treating and traveling in groups with multiple adults and children helps to increase your visibility and keep children safe from other potential dangers that are present on Halloween.
- Never just wing it! Have a trick-or-treating route pre-planned and agreed on by all members of your group. Breaking away from your route or walking through unfamiliar areas increases the chances that an accident might occur.
- Stay on the side of the street with lampposts and/or other lights. Indiana neighborhoods and areas near our larger cities will typically have one or both sides of our roads illuminated by street lights. In instances where only one side of the road is lit, children should always be restricted to travel on said side.
- Masks obstruct vision. We strongly discourage the use of masks, as a child’s sight line is restricted by eye-holes that don’t allow for clear ‘straight-ahead’ and/or peripheral vision. This is especially dangerous because of trick-or-treating’s night time hours. It only takes an instant for a serious accident to occur due to obstructed vision.
- Report suspicious behavior. While Halloween makes it more difficult to determine what is especially unusual, never be afraid to contact authorities if you observe something that seems dangerous or out of the ordinary.
- Know the rules. Indiana’s various counties have designated times for trick-or-treating. Be sure to know when you are to begin and end the door-knocking. We collected a number of central Indiana trick-or-treating times below:
- Beech Grove: 5-8 p.m.
- Clermont: 6-8 p.m.
- Indianapolis: 6-8 p.m.
- Lawrence: 6-8 p.m.
- Southport: 6-8 p.m.
- Speedway: 6-8 p.m.
- Avon: 5:30-8:30 p.m.
- Brownsburg: 6-8:30 p.m.
- Clayton: 6-8 p.m.
- Danville: 6-8:30 p.m.
- Pittsboro: 6-8 p.m.
- Plainfield: 5:30-8:30 p.m.
- Bargersville: 4-8:30 p.m.
- Edinburgh: 6-8 p.m.
- Franklin: 6-9 p.m.
- Greenwood: 6-8:30 p.m.
- New Whiteland: 6-8:30 p.m.
- Trafalgar: 6-8 p.m.
- Whiteland: 6-9 p.m.
- Lebanon: 6-8 p.m.
- Thorntown: 6-9 p.m.
- Whitestown: 6-9 p.m.
- Zionsville: 5:30-8:30 p.m.
- Martinsville: 6-8 p.m.
- Mooresville: 6:30-8 p.m.
- Monrovia: 5-8 p.m.
- Morgantown: 5:30-8 p.m.
And while we wish everyone a safe and fun Halloween this year, there is always the potential for an accident to occur. Should someone be injured in a Halloween or trick-or-treating accident, we are available to help answer your questions and walk you through next steps at absolutely no cost.
Boulton Law Group – Get Treated Like Family.
Attorney Matt Boulton has been representing injured Hoosiers for more than 20 years. After spending a number of years managing the litigation department for a large, Indianapolis-based firm, he saw the need for a results-based firm that also delivered exceptional customer service. His vision led him to found the Boulton Law Group, a personal injury law firm for accident victims that do not wish to be “just another client.”
Supported by a warm and caring staff of experienced legal professionals, attorney Boulton offers all injured persons throughout Indiana a Zero Fee Guarantee. This means that you will never pay for consultations or legal advice. It also guarantees that you will never be charged a single cent until the firm wins your case.
To speak with attorney Boulton about your legal questions, call him direct at 317-350-2680, or write to us by using our confidential contact form.
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.