Trick-or-treating is great fun, but when you think about it, it seems like a perfect recipe for disaster: kids dressed in awkward, dark costumes running around neighborhoods at night focused on candy and not the vehicles they share the street with. It should come as no surprise that there are double the pedestrian accidents on Halloween than any other day of the year. These tips will help you stay safe, whether you’re driving yourself, or you’re going with your kids to get candy.
Tips for Drivers on Halloween
Remember that Halloween Isn’t Just One Night
Local communities don’t always want kids out late on a school night, so they make an effort to encourage celebrating on the weekend. That means even though the holiday may be a few days away, different communities may have kids out in costume on the weekend before October 31.
Keep an Eye Out when Passing Cars
With parents driving around neighborhoods and following their kids in their cars, there are plenty of times when the little ghouls will be jumping into and out of vehicles. Keep an eye out for these slow moving vehicles when you’re driving.
Texting while driving is a terrible idea any time you’re behind the wheel because it takes your focus off the road for seconds at a time. This Halloween, that distraction can be the difference between seeing someone and hitting them.
Keep an Eye Out at Intersections
Intersections give distracted kids an opportunity to walk into traffic, especially on main roads that separate neighborhoods.
Be Extra Aware if You Go Out For Dinner
What does visiting a restaurant have to do with child safety? Most parents want to get trick-or-treating done before the sun goes down, and that means most kids are out around the same time families are eating dinner. Traffic accidents during the holiday are higher overall from 4 to 10 pm, but they reach their peak between 6 and 7 pm.
Tips for Taking Your Kids Out Trick-Or-Treating
Plan a Route
If your children know where they’re going ahead of time, they’re less likely to get lost. Try to stick to areas your kids are familiar with.
Reflective tape, glow sticks, and flashlights can help make your child visible to motorists.
Make the Costume Easy to Walk In
Long skirts, pants, and capes are easy to trip on, especially in the dark. Masks can obscure vision, so they should be avoided or reshaped with larger eye holes and makeup to complete the costume. High heels should also be avoided: they aren’t just easy to trip over, they can make walking from house to house a major pain for your little princess.
Falls are still bound to happen, so make sure any props that go with the costume like swords and wands are made out of flexible materials.
Remind Your Kids to Walk
All these safety tips come down to one thing: going slow and being aware of your surroundings. If your child gets excited, they may concentrate more on getting to the next house than navigating cars and obstacles. If you have to, hold hands with the little ones to keep them in tow rather than depending on their siblings to keep them safe.
Halloween is exciting for kids, but that excitement means unpredictable behavior. Combine that with low light conditions and awkward, dark costumes, and it increases the chance of injury. When you’re out this holiday, remember to take it slow and keep an eye out for children getting into the celebration.
From all of us at Merton Auto Body, have a safe and happy Halloween!