Halloween is one of the most dangerous days of the year on the road
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Halloween is best known as the time of the year to dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating, but it's also one of the most dangerous days of the year on the road.
Last year alone, 17 people were killed in traffic accidents on Halloween weekend, including two in Greene County. Those numbers come from the Tennessee Highway Patrol. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says children are four times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other day.
Throughout the Tri-Cities, thousands of kids will be out trick-or-treating. However, when the sun goes down, the kids in costumes can be tough to see.
"You always hear horror stories after Halloween is over with about some kids," Lance Woods, a local father of two, says. "You definitely don't want that to be your kid."
Costume companies are taking matters in to their won hands by adding special features to boost safety.
"They're actually making the costumes reflective," Daniel O'Brien, the manager at The Party Corner in Johnson City, says. "Some of them will actually give you pins and such that glow."
If your costume doesn't come with any reflectives, Halloween stores like Party Corner sell glow sticks and other handheld items to help your child stand out.
"He will definitely have a glow stick in hand or something so I can see him as well as the traffic so he doesn't get run over," Kimberly McLeod, another local mother, says.
But police say drivers also have to take extra precaution on the roads, because safety is not the kids top priority.
"A six or seven-year-old child isn't worried about cars," Lt. Scotty Carrier with the Johnson City Police Department says. "They're worried about going to the next house to get more candy."
There isn't an age limit for dressing up for Halloween, but wearing your costume after the holiday could lead to trouble.
"If I'm a convenient store clerk and I see someone pull up at the gas pump or come around to come in my store with a mask on, that's an immediate 911 call," Lt. Carrier says.