With Halloween just around the corner, we wanted to share some reminders on how to be safe while celebrating this spooky holiday. Not only do our children have safety needs, but as drivers on the road over Halloween, it is critical that drivers stay alert to the costume clad and excited children in the neighborhoods.
Did you know that according to SafeKids Worldwide, “On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.”
They recommend the following to help your kids stay safe on this holiday:
- Carry glow sticks or flashlights, use reflective tape or stickers on costumes and bags, and wear light colors to help kids see and be seen by drivers.
- When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls. Choose “flame-resistant” costumes.
- Choose face paint over masks when possible. Masks can limit children’s vision.
- Remind kids to cross the street at corners or crosswalks.
- Join kids under age 12 for trick-or-treating.
They also recommend some effective behaviors that your kids can adopt to help keep them safe while walking from house to house:
- Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
- Look left, right, and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
- Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
- Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
- Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings. Avoid taking “short cuts”.
- Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
- Stay in a group while trick-or-treating.
- Only approach houses with porch lights on.
- Remind your child to never enter a stranger’s home.
- Teach children to bring treats home before eating them. Eat only factory-wrapped treats unless you know the giver well.
As drivers, we have a huge responsibility to drive safely. During Halloween, remember to be especially alert for all road users, and especially the costume clad pedestrians who will be out at night.
- Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
- Slow down in residential neighborhoods, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
- Turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances. Keep your windshield clean.
- Avoid using handheld electronic devices while driving.
- Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
- If you see a drunk driver or impaired pedestrian on the road, contact local law enforcement.