For both drivers and trick-or-treaters, Halloween is one of the most dangerous days of the year.
A recent study published by JAMA Pediatrics found that there was a 43% increased risk of pedestrian fatalities compared to days one week earlier and one week later. Follow these tips to keep everyone safe from harm.
Tips for Drivers
Slow down and stay alert! Halloween brings a huge increase in pedestrian traffic–mainly from children. Especially in residential streets and around neighborhoods, there will be children out before and after dark. Drivers need to be aware that it is a particularly dangerous night.
Children can be easily distracted during the festivities, which means you need to be on extra alert for them darting across roads, causing distractions, and more.
You should never consume alcohol and drive, but that’s especially true on Halloween. Skip the cocktails if you venture out for dinner or attend any Halloween festivities. If you are driving trick-or-treaters around, be sure they are buckled up appropriately between each and every stop you make.
Tips for Trick-Or-Treaters
Younger trick-or-treaters should always be accompanied by an adult. For larger groups, be sure to have adequate supervision to keep an eye on every child. Even if you or another adult will be accompanying the children, you should review the road safety rules before you head out for Halloween fun.
Instruct children to walk, not run, between houses. If a sidewalk is available they should remain on it at all times; if no sidewalk is available, walkers should stick to the furthest edge of the road facing traffic. Do not walk on the road in the same direction the cars are traveling because you will not be able to see any oncoming dangers.
Do not assume you have the right of way. Even at crosswalks, look in every direction before crossing the road. Pedestrians should also stop and look before crossing in front of any driveways. Cars pulling in or out may not see children crossing in their path. Be sure that children are wearing reflective material on their costumes, such as strips of reflective tape.
Children’s vision should not be restricted by face masks or accessories. Avoid bulky or low hanging costumes and accessories, and make sure to choose the appropriate footwear. This can prevent tripping hazards and road crossing delays. Opt for brighter costumes and equip each child with a flashlight or glow stick. This will help drivers see them better, potentially saving a life on the spookiest night of the year.
Happy Halloween! Stay safe and have fun.