Halloween is supposed to be scary but in a fun, lighthearted way. Unfortunately, far too many real-life horror stories take place on Halloween, the deadliest night of the year for pedestrians. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that children are four times more likely to be struck by a vehicle while trick-or-treating than on any other night of the year.
Don’t let the excitement of Halloween override the importance of safety. Drivers, parents, and trick-or-treaters—follow these tips to stay safe on Halloween.
Safety Tips for Drivers on Halloween
Whether you’re taking your children trick-or-treating around the neighborhood or traveling to a friend’s Halloween party across town, this is the night of all nights to be extra vigilant. Avoid a near miss or tragic accident by following these safety tips:
- Slow down while driving through neighborhoods. Drive at least 5 miles per hour below the posted speed limit. Assume children are nearby and may not see you.
- Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks or anywhere else. On this unusual night, children may dart into the street mid-block or between parked cars.
- If you’re driving your children around, make sure they buckle up each time they get back into the car. Don’t forget to wear your own seatbelt as well.
- When you pull over to let your kids out of the car, choose a safe location away from traffic. Turn on your hazard lights to let drivers know to use extra caution when driving past.
- Never drink and drive! If you have anything to drink at a friend’s Halloween party, arrange to get a ride home.
- Don’t use your cell phone while driving. If you need to answer a text or make a call, pull over to a safe location first.
Safety Tips for Parents on Halloween
You remember how fun trick-or-treating was when you were a kid, and you want your children to have the same positive experiences you did. While making the night as fun and festive as possible, keep these tips in mind to stay safe on Halloween:
- Place retro-reflective tape on costumes and buckets to help make your children more visible to drivers.
- Accompany your children if they are under age 12, or make sure a responsible adult or older teenager is with them at all times.
- Discuss trick-or-treating routes before you leave the house.
- Review pedestrian and traffic safety rules with your children.
- Instruct your children to only visit familiar areas along established routes.
- Make sure your children know to only stop at well-lit houses and to never enter a stranger’s house or garage.
- If you send your trick-or-treaters out on their own, make sure they know what time you expect them home.
- Tell your children not to eat any treats until they get home. This gives you the chance to dispose of any unwrapped or damaged pieces that could be unsafe.
Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treaters on Halloween
Whether you’re an older trick-or-treater or you’re accompanying your younger siblings from house to house, make sure everyone follows these safety tips:
- Trick-or-treat in groups, and make sure your parents know where you’re going.
- Wear a costume that doesn’t obstruct your vision. This might mean trading a mask for face paint.
- To avoid tripping, make sure your costume isn’t too long.
- Walk—don’t run—from house to house.
- Only carry flexible, blunt-tipped props to avoid injury.
- Carry a flashlight with new batteries or freshly activated glow sticks. Never shine the light in a driver’s eyes or your friend’s face.
- Walk on the sidewalk. If there are no sidewalks, remain as close to the side of the road as possible without walking on the lawn.
- Watch for cars backing out when you walk across a driveway.
- Look both ways and listen for traffic before crossing the street. Use crosswalks and traffic signals when possible, and never run out into the road from between parked cars.
By being safety-minded this Halloween, you make sure the holiday is a treat for all. For more useful safety tips, or to schedule automotive services in Northern Colorado, please call Scott’s Fort Collins Auto at (970) 682-4202 or set an appointment with us online.