Kids of all ages look forward to Halloween this time of year. But between the parties, the costumes and the candy, it’s important that parents consider their kids’ safety. Under normal circumstances, children under 14 make up a small proportion of overall pedestrian fatalities. But Safe Kids Worldwide reports that children are more than twice as likely to be killed on Halloween as any other day. This means that every year, for many people, Halloween is scary for all the wrong reasons.
Two years ago, the DriveSafe Online team offered some tips to stay safe on Halloween. We hope this helped some of our readers have an enjoyable holiday. Unfortunately, many of the same safety tips go ignored every year, even by defensive drivers and defensive walkers who understand the rules of driving safety. So, we’re bringing back a few of these walking and driving safety tips, with some new highlights, to help keep you, your family and your community safe.
Wear Reflective Clothing
Defensive drivers know to watch out for children while driving. The challenge with Halloween is that a driver can’t see a small child at night in a dark costume. Don’t take risks. Choose a brightly colored costume for your child or add some reflective patches or tape to a dark costume, especially if your child is trick-or-treating after dark.
Don’t Walk in the Street
72% of all pedestrian deaths occur away from intersections. 75% of all deaths occur after dark. Sometimes statistics are difficult to understand. In this case, the message is clear. Always cross at an intersection, and never walk into a street at night. Following these two simple rules would reduce pedestrian deaths dramatically. Make sure your kids know these rules and make especially sure they remember to follow them on Halloween.
Travel in Groups
The more children and adults there are in a group, the greater the visibility. This makes it easier for defensive drivers to spot you and your children and avoid a tragic accident.
Be a Defensive Driver
Whether you are transporting kids or just heading out for the evening, remember the two defensive driving rules of thumb: slow down, and increase your following distance. Driving slowly allows you adequate time to brake if you spot a child in the road or otherwise encounter an unsafe situation. Not following other drivers too closely will ensure that you have adequate stopping distance if another defensive driver must brake rapidly. Following these driving safety rules will keep you and the children who are out enjoying the holiday safe.
Avoid Drunk Driving
For adults, Halloween often means parties. And parties often mean alcohol. In 2016, alcohol was reported in 48% of all accidents that resulted in a pedestrian death (whether it was the driver or the pedestrian who had been drinking). We know that children are on the roads. We know that they are excited. And we know they don’t always understand the rules of the road. Driving safely means staying alert and never driving after consuming alcohol.
So whether you are headed out trick-or-treating with your kids, or off to a party with friends, remember that being safe is a prerequisite to having fun. From the DriveSafe Online family to yours: stay scary, stay safe, and have a Happy Halloween!
SafeKidsWorldwide.org: 10 Easy Things You Can Do To Keep Kids Safe On Halloween
NHTSA: Traffic Safety Facts – Pedestrians