Halloween should be a fun and safe holiday for all involved.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that in 2011, nearly 3 out of 4 pedestrian deaths occurred in urban environments, at non-intersections, and at nighttime. More than one-third of those pedestrians killed were hit by drivers with blood alcohol contents higher than .08 g/dL, the illegal limit in every state. On Halloween, those statistics rise due to the added amount of people walking around in the dark and the amount of parties happening. Since Halloween in on a Friday this year, you know those statistics are likely to be even higher.
By following basic safety guidelines, we can all do our part to make Halloween a safe and fun holiday. Here are a few tips to help ensure that costumes are the only scary thing on Halloween. Use this downloadable Halloween Safety Tips Checklist to help make your night safe.
Halloween safety tips for parents and children:
- Choose a costume that is flame-resistant and has bright colors.
- Wear reflective clothing or add reflective tape to costumes and bags to help make trick or treaters more visible to traffic.
- Use flashlights (with fresh batteries) to help children see more clearly.
- Wear glow sticks or other light up accessories for extra visibility.
- Make sure costumes are short enough that they won’t cause tripping.
- Avoid wearing masks as they can obstruct vision. If you do wear a mask, ensure the eyeholes are adequately large enough to see through and take off the mask when walking between houses.
- Kids under 12 year of age shouldn’t trick or treat alone.
- Never trick or treat alone at any age; always trick or treat in groups.
- Don’t eat candy until it has been check by a grown-up at home; throw away candy that is unwrapped.
- Trick or treat in familiar neighborhoods and never enter a stranger’s home.
- Only visit homes with lights on.
- Cross the street only using sidewalks when possible; never cross the street by trees or bushes where cars can’t easily see you.
Halloween safety tips for motorists:
- Watch for children and families on the street; pay extra attention for dark clothing once the sun sets.
- Use extra caution when entering and exiting driveways.
- Coordinate a designated driver before you head out.
- If you choose drink and don’t have a driver call a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
- Slow down! According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a pedestrian hit by a car is more than twice as likely to be killed by a car going 35 mph than a car going 25 mph.