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  The Scariest Night of the Year  
  by Cindy Parroné |  
 

As an insurance agent, Halloween has become the scariest night of the year. It’s not the fake blood and grotesque masks that scare me, though. It’s the gruesome statistic that a child 5-14 years old is four times more likely to be hit by a car and die than any other day or night of the year according to a recent Center for Disease Control study. The odds are stacked against a youngster versus a motorized vehicle, and you are the responsible adult behind the controls of that vehicle.

Excited children tend to forget safety tips in their quest for sugary treats. 84% of child fatalities on Halloween occur mid-block as kids dart between cars to cross streets. They may not be able see you if they are wearing a mask that obscures their vision. Yes, the bodily injury liability portion of your auto insurance is designed to cover injury to others, but do you want to experience the anguish and guilt of harming a child? This is the sort of claim I hope not to ever handle, so promise me to use the following driving tips this Halloween.

  1. Be Alert. No texting, cell phone use or other distractions as you watch for children and irresponsible drivers.
  2. Communicate your driving intentions to others. Using your turn signals is especially important on a night like Halloween. Also use your hazard lights if you are pulling to the curb to let your own car full of trick-or-treaters enter or exit your vehicle.
  3. Slow down below the regular speed limit in areas where youngsters are present. For most communities in Jackson and Williamson counties, trick-or-treat runs from 5-8 or 9 p.m.
  4. Extra caution is necessary when entering or leaving driveways, parking lots and alleys. Tapping your horn to get attention couldn’t hurt.
  5. Do NOT pass cars that are stopped in the street. Even though these drivers are inconsiderately blocking traffic, children are likely to be getting in and out of the car on either side.
  6. Be certain to share these tips with the young drivers in your household that will be behind the wheel on Halloween. Nearly one third of child fatalities on this night are attributed to drivers 15-25 years old.

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!

Cindy Parrone’
Licensed Insurance Agent
Diederich Insurance Agency


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