It should come as no surprise that the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has announced that Halloween is the deadliest night of the year for pedestrians. As neighborhoods become playgrounds for hundreds of children scurrying from door to door in search of the next treat, and the streets become filled with cars carrying partying adults, the risk of fatalities are bound to increase. We hope this Halloween safety checklist proves to guarantee this Halloween is filled with many treats and absolutely no unwelcoming tricks.
If you are a parent accompanying your children door to door this year, make sure their costumes are easy to maneuver in. If you’ll be taking them out after the sun goes down, stick a few reflectors on their costumes to ensure drivers will be able to spot them if they dart into the street. If your child thinks reflectors on his or her costume will disrupt the “beauty” of it, compromise and insist they carry a flashlight instead.
Sidewalks are there for a reason! Use them, and remember to walk facing traffic—sidewalks or not. Never allow your children to cross mid-block or dart out from behind a parked vehicle. Trick-or-treating in well-lit neighborhoods with little or slow-moving traffic should be of upmost importance.
If you will be driving on Halloween, make sure you appoint a designated driver before your night begins. If one cannot be easily assigned, make plans to spend the night at your destination and hail a cab to arrive there.
If you can avoid residential areas to get to your destination, please do. The less cars in our neighborhoods means less chance of young children getting hurt or worse. Drive cautiously, turn your headlights on well before dusk, and drive under the speed limit. According to AAA, a pedestrian is nearly twice as likely to be killed if they’re hit by a car going 30 mph compared to a car going 25 mph. What a difference a little precaution makes!
If you are looking to buy reflective tape for your child’s costume, try your local bike store, hardware store, or a site like pedestrianreflectors.com.