Halloween Safety Tips for Drivers and Trick-or-Treaters
October 18, 2021
While Halloween is a great opportunity for friends and family to enjoy trick-or-treating and parties, the holiday is also one of the most dangerous days of the year for pedestrians and others who choose to go out in the evening and night. Halloween sees some of the highest rates of pedestrian fatalities, especially among children. This is due in large part to the increase in pedestrian traffic, especially in residential neighborhoods that may not be well-designed to accommodate large numbers of pedestrians walking down the street or sidewalk or crossing the road.
Fortunately, drivers and families going out trick-or-treating can follow a few simple safety tips to help reduce the risk of pedestrian accidents and keep everyone safe this Halloween.
Tips for Drivers on Halloween
Tips and actions that drivers should follow on Halloween include:
- Avoid distracted driving behavior, such as cell phone use or reaching around the passenger cabin. If you need to grab something or use the phone, pull off the road where it is safe to do so. You should also consider lowering your stereo to help you hear any approaching pedestrians
- Drive sober. Have a designated driver or take public transit, a taxi, or rideshare vehicle if you plan on consuming alcohol
- Use your headlights, even before sundown, to help make your vehicle more visible to pedestrians. If you are stopped on a street or the road, remember to activate your vehicle’s hazard lights to warn pedestrians and drivers that your vehicle is stopped
- Drive slower than the speed limit, especially when driving through residential neighborhoods or other areas where there are trick-or-treaters. By slowing down, you give yourself more time to slow down and stop for pedestrians crossing the street or road
- Exercise caution when exiting a driveway or pulling onto the street, or when passing a stopped vehicle as children may be exiting the vehicle
- Always yield to any pedestrians; be prepared for children to dart out from between parked vehicles or to run across the street without looking
Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treaters
Family can help keep children out trick-or-treating as well as trick-or-treaters’ chaperones safe out on the street or road by following these safety tips:
- Try to go out trick-or-treating while there is still some light out
- Choose costumes with brighter colors. If wearing a darker costume, add reflective tape to the costume or a candy bag/bucket. Trick-or-treaters and chaperones should also carry flashlights or lanterns to make themselves more visible to motorists
- Always have children trick-or-treat in groups. Children under the age of 12 should also be accompanied by chaperones. Groups should have enough chaperones so that no child can wander off on their own without being noticed
- Stay on the sidewalk if available; if a street has no sidewalks, stay as close to the edge of the road as possible on the side facing oncoming traffic
- Cross at marked crosswalks or intersections; avoid crossing in between parked or stopped cars
- Look both ways before crossing the street. Don’t assume that a driver sees you or will yield the right of way, so avoid crossing in front of an approaching vehicle
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