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Our favorite fall holiday is right around the corner, but it can also be one of the most dangerous for drivers and those celebrating as well. We’re talking, of course, about Halloween! With a lot of children on the roads heading from house to house collecting treats in the dark, it’s critical to stay cautious when behind the wheel, but also when walking.
SafeKids.org shares that on average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year. We’re sharing safety tips to make sure this Halloween is all treats and no tricks, for both drivers and trick or treaters.
Halloween Safety Tips for Drivers
Driving safely is not just important on Halloween evening itself, it’s important to be cautious around Halloween as well, because many communities celebrate the holiday on different days. To be safe, check your local community schedule to find out when trick or treating occurs. If you aren’t able to find the schedule, drive extra cautiously for about a week before and after Halloween. In addition, typical Halloween trick or treating hours are between 5:30pm and 9:30pm, so anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and slow down and drive safely during those hours.
Because children are so excited on Halloween (we can’t blame them!), their movement may be unpredictable, so first, when driving in a residential neighborhood around Halloween, slow down. Make sure to turn on your headlights earlier than normal, so your car is visible from a distance and you can also spot pedestrians easily.
When driving in and out of parking lots, driveways or alleys, be even more cautious, looking both ways several times before slowly inching out. Take the same cautious action when at an intersection, looking both ways for children.
Distracted driving such as texting and driving, fiddling with the radio or even talking on the cell phone is never recommended, but especially during Halloween when there is heavy pedestrian traffic.
Halloween Safety Tips for Trick or Treaters
Safety on Halloween night starts with the costume. While an all-black witch costume may be your little one’s choice, you should add reflective tape to the costume or candy bag to keep them visible to cars driving by. If it’s possible, try to aim for light colors for a costume, but if it’s not feasible, reflective tape should be added somewhere (even on their candy bag!), and your little one can carry a flashlight or glow stick, too. Instead of a mask, which can obstruct their vision, try face paint or makeup. In addition, make sure your child’s costume fits properly. A too-big costume may cause trips and falls.
Before you start trick or treating, make sure to plan your route in advance, to ensure you don’t get lost or end up on a route that is too long. Young children should never trick or treat alone, and should always remain with an adult. If your child is old enough to go out alone, make sure they stick to an area they are familiar with.
When walking through the neighborhood, remember these pedestrian tips:
•Always use the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk available, walk at the furthest edge possible, facing traffic.
•Remain on well-lit streets.
•Only cross the street in a designated crosswalk, and never cross between parked cars.
•Never assume you have the right of way. On Halloween, many drivers could have trouble seeing trick or treaters.
•Look both ways before you cross the street, and keep looking as you cross.
•Don’t assume that because one car stops to let you cross, others will.
Happy Halloween, everyone! We hope it’s a fun night, but more importantly, a safe one, too!