Common Sense for Halloween Safety
It should come as no surprise that the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has announced that Halloween is the deadliest night of the year for pedestrians. As neighborhoods become playgrounds for hundreds of children scurrying from door to door in search of the next treat, and the streets become filled with cars carrying partying adults, the risk of fatalities are bound to increase.
We hope this Halloween safety checklist proves to guarantee this Halloween is filled with many treats and absolutely no unwelcome tricks.
If you are a parent accompanying your children door to door this year, make sure their costumes are easy to maneuver in. If you’ll be taking them out after the sun goes down, stick a few pieces of reflective tape on their costumes to ensure drivers will be able to spot them if they dart into the street. If you are looking to buy reflective tape for your child’s costume, try your local bike store or hardware store. If your child thinks reflectors on his or her costume will disrupt the “beauty” of it, compromise and insist they carry a flashlight or glow stick instead.
Sidewalks are there for a reason
Use them, and remember to walk facing traffic — sidewalks or not. Never allow your children to cross mid-block or dart out from behind a parked vehicle. Trick-or-treating in well-lit neighborhoods with little or slow-moving traffic should be of utmost importance.
This year, some communities will be offering “trunk-or-treat” options, where kids will be able to move from car to car in a designated lot for treats. Even in a situation like this, it is important to make sure that your kids are still visible (with reflective clothing/flashlights), and that they are sticking to designated paths instead of darting around vehicles.
If you will be out enjoying the more adult oriented side of Halloween, make sure you have a designated driver lined up before your night begins. If you can’t find one, make plans to spend the night at your destination, or call a cab, Lyft or Uber.
What a difference a little precaution makes
According to AAA, a pedestrian is nearly twice as likely to be killed if they’re hit by a car going 30 mph compared to a car going 25 mph. If you can avoid residential areas to get to your destination, please do. The fewer cars in our neighborhoods — and the slower they go — means fewer chances of young children getting hurt or worse.
Safety Tips for Motorists
Here are some additional Halloween safety tips for parents — and anyone who plans to be on the road during trick-or-treat hours:
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
- Maintain your vehicle and don’t drive with faulty headlights or wipers
- At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing
- Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween