Halloween Safety Tips for Pedestrians and Drivers
Halloween is a favorite of children and adults. Kids get to dress up and trick-or-treat, while adults get decked out for costume parties.
October 31st can be a night of funny ghouls and silly ghosts, but it is also a night that has turned tragic too many times. Children walking on the streets and adults driving under the influence are a deadly combination.
On Halloween, children are at a higher chance of being fatally injured by a car than any other day of the year. In a study of Oct. 31st fatalities from 1990-2010 for kids up to 18 years old, some troubling statistics are shown:
- From 1990 and 2010, 115 children were killed in pedestrian accidents across the U.S. That’s an average of 5.5 fatalities every year.
- Nearly a quarter of fatal accidents occurred between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
- More than 70 percent of the accidents happened away from intersections and crosswalks.
- 32 percent of the victims were ages 12-15, and 23 percent were ages 5-8.
- Nearly a third of all fatal accidents involved young drivers, ages 15-25.
At McCraw Law Group, we want to help Halloween to be a fun and safe night for all. To help parents, children and drivers avoid fatal accidents, we offer these Halloween safety guidelines.
Trick-or-treat with safety in mind. These tips can help keep your children safe while they walk the sidewalks and streets around town.
- Walk With an Adult. A guardian with an eye on cars and crossing the street can help keep your kids safe. They are excited and can forget to watch for cars.
- Stay on Sidewalks. Staying out of the street keeps everyone further away from motor vehicles.
- Obey Traffic Laws. Cross at crosswalks and wait for pedestrian signals.
- Stop Before Sunset. If possible, trick-or-treat before dark sets. If you plan to be out after dark, take along a flashlight or glow stick.
- Be Visible. Dark costumes make it harder to see children. Add reflective material to increase their visibility.
Halloween is different because of the number of pedestrians on the roads. More kids are out crossing the streets and parading down the sidewalks. Adults out on Halloween need to take extra precautions when driving to and from parties.
- Designate a Driver. Alcohol and driving should never be mixed.
- Texting can Wait. Taking your eyes off the road reduces your reaction time. Don’t let your phone keep you from driving responsibly.
- Yield to Pedestrians. Kids are overly excited and will sometimes dart across the road. Be watchful near crosswalks and in busy neighborhoods.
- Protect your Passengers. Require that everyone in your car is buckled. Infants and young children should be in the appropriate car or booster seats.
One last tip for drivers – reduce your speed on Halloween night. The faster you drive, the shorter reaction time. With the increased number of children walking on the streets, there is no need for excessive speed. Slowing down decreases your stopping distance if sudden braking is required to avoid a vehicle-pedestrian accident.
Halloween night is the most dangerous night of the year for pedestrian injuries from cars. Additionally, it is one of the most dangerous nights of the year for drunk driving fatalities.