Halloween only comes once a year, and maybe that’s a good thing: With sugar-fueled children running around unpredictably, revelers drinking and driving and motorists unable to see small children in the dark, there is an increased risk for injuries. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that children are four times more likely to be in a traffic accident on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
That’s why it is so important that drivers and parents alike take precautions to keep young pedestrians safe from car accidents. Keep reading for some simple tips you can take to ensure a happy, safe Halloween.
Make sure to drive slowly in residential neighborhoods: It’s a good idea to drive even slower than usual to give yourself extra time to react to pedestrians who may wander into the street. Be particularly careful around medians, curbs, driveways and alleys. Watch out for children in the area, especially since they will be difficult to see at night if they are wearing dark costumes. Kids can be unpredictable and may not be paying attention to their surroundings, so be extra cautious and drive defensively.
Remind children of pedestrian and traffic safety rules, such as never darting into the street, looking both ways before crossing, and staying close to the side of the road. Supervise children carefully, and instruct them to stay close to you or another adult when they are trick-or-treating. Establish a safe route for trick-or-treating that focuses on brightly-lit, safe areas, and have your children follow it closely.
Wear reflective tape, flashing lights or bright costumes to be more visible in the dark. Choose a costume that does not include a vision-obstructing mask or hood. Stay on the sidewalks instead of walking on roads, if possible. If there are no sidewalks, stay on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic. Cross streets at the corner, look both ways before crossing, and never cross from between parked cars or from the middle of the street.