Children love Halloween. After all, what’s not to love: there’s dressing up, hanging out with friends and most of all, free candy. Sadly, though, the joy of the holiday will be ruined for some because of careless or reckless drivers who don’t pay enough attention.
According to both Safe Kids Worldwide and the National Safety Council, twice as many children die in pedestrian accidents on Halloween than on any other night of the year. This tragic statistic alone should put drivers on heightened alert, but some drivers still don’t get the message.
Thankfully, there are some things that both motorists and pedestrians alike can do to make sure that the holiday stays safe for everyone involved.
- Don’t drive while distracted on Halloween (or any other night), but especially in neighborhoods, around community centers, and in other areas where children will be present
- Pay close attention to curbs and medians, and in intersections where children cross the street
- Turn into driveways, alleyways and parking lots carefully
- Discourage new or inexperienced drivers from being on the road
- Be on the lookout for children in dark-colored costumes and clothing, particularly after twilight, when visibility is the lowest
- Slow down to give yourself enough time to stop if a child walks in front of your vehicle
For pedestrians (and parents):
- Put reflective tape or paint on your child’s costume, as this makes them much easier to see at night; only about 18 percent of children have reflective tape on their costumes
- Avoid masks, which can obstruct vision and result in walking out in front of an oncoming vehicle
- Look carefully before crossing the street
- Don’t walk while distracted by electronics; this makes it more likely you will trip off a curb, walk out in front of traffic or walk into an unsafe area
- Cross the street only at crosswalks, and obey traffic signals and signs
- Stay on a sidewalk or other pathway whenever possible; if they aren’t available, walk against traffic and close to the side of the road in a single-file line