Halloween Safety Tips from KidsAndCars.org
More children are struck by cars on Halloween than any other night of the year.
The CDC found that the number of deaths among young pedestrians (ages 5-14) is four times higher on Halloween evening than any other evening of the year. Sadly, Halloween is a dangerous night, but it doesn’t have to be that way if you follow some simple safety tips.
While excited trick-or-treaters may forget the rules of the road and can be oblivious to the hazards, we, as motorists must be uber vigilant. Be especially careful between 4 and 8 p.m., when most severe vehicle/young pedestrian collisions happen. Approximately 85% of deaths among young pedestrians occurred at non-intersection locations (indicating children are most likely to dart and dash from mid-block into the street).
Two-thirds (2/3) of all highway fatalities at Halloween are alcohol-related. Don’t even think about getting behind the wheel if you’re impaired.
Remind all family members and friends to make safety their top priority during this time of year. Halloween parties, trick-or-treating, hayrides, and fall festivities, etc. take everyone out of their normal routines which can be a significant cause of injuries or even death. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
Review all appropriate pedestrian and traffic safety rules with your children.
• Brighten them up. Fasten reflective tape to their costumes and treat bags to make sure they are visible. Give them flashlights with fresh batteries and glow sticks, to help them see and so drivers/others can see them.
• Look both ways before crossing the street. (Ideally, you should look right, left, and then right again.)
• Only cross at street corners, stoplights or crosswalks.
• Never cross against a green (or yellow) light.
• Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of a stopped car and wait for them to wave you on.
• Stick to the sidewalk between houses. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the far edge of the road facing traffic.
• Do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards and never walk near lit candles or luminaries.
• Trick-or-treat in a group if someone older cannot go with you.
This doesn’t mean you should be scared to let your kids out of the house that night, but that you need to make sure they understand how to be a safe pedestrian.
Review traffic safety rules for drivers
• All motorists need to be especially alert and cautious when driving on Halloween because of the increased number of pedestrians walking the streets… reminder to pedestrians, you should NOT be walking in the streets!!! Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. Yield to all pedestrians.
• Watch for children darting out from between parked cars and into the street.
• Be extra alert when pulling in and out of driveways
• Do not assume children can see you or are paying attention. You need to take that responsibility.
• At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
• Don’t use a cell phone or drive distracted. A single distraction could lead to a tragedy.
• Discourage teens from driving on Halloween. There are too many hazards and distractions for inexperienced drivers.
• Stay well below the posted speed limit. Drive slowly, and don’t pass stopped vehicles. The driver might be dropping off children.
• Communicate with other drivers. Always use your turn signals. And if you have to pull over to drop off or pick up your kids, turn on your hazard lights.
• This bears repeating…Two-thirds (2/3) of all highway fatalities at Halloween are alcohol-related. Don’t even think about getting behind the wheel if you’re impaired.
Parents and kids should also be careful before eating and treats or candy. Check sweets for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them. Only eat treats in original and unopened wrappers.
Children should consider using face paint instead of masks, or should wear masks that are well-fitting with eye- and ear-holes that do not obscure sight or hearing; children should not wear floppy hats or hats that will slide over the eyes.
To reduce the likelihood of tripping, children should not wear long, baggy, or loose costumes or oversize shoes.
Follow these tips to ensure your trick-or-treaters have a fun and safe holiday.
For more tips on how to keep kids safe throughout the year, visit www.KidsAndCars.org.