By Erik Harden, BWC Public Information Officer
Fading daylight, dark costumes, and excited kids darting into the street make children twice as likely to be struck by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year.* Because excited trick-or-treaters often forget about safety, motorists must be extra careful.
Follow these Halloween driving safety tips.
- Avoid distractions, so you can stay alert. Put your cell phone away and don’t reach for things until you’re safely stopped.
- Slow down in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals. Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself extra time to react to children who may dart into the street.
- Scan your surroundings and be extra alert. Kids may not be paying attention to traffic and will cross the street mid-block or between parked cars and in dark costumes. At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
- Don’t pass other vehicles that have stopped in the roadway. They could be picking up or dropping off children, so wait several seconds before attempting to pass, and only if you see there are no people near the car.
- Exit driveways and pull onto streets with extreme caution. Children have a harder time judging how a driver will react and are more likely to think they have the okay to go ahead.
Follow these tips when sending kids out trick-or-treating.
- Don’t send young children out unsupervised. A responsible adult should accompany younger children on the neighborhood rounds.
- Make them easier to see. Have children wear reflective tape, use glowsticks, or carry a flashlight.
- Make safe choices. Remain on well-lit streets, always use the sidewalk, cross the street in crosswalks and intersections.
- Have a plan. If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route acceptable to you. Agree on a time for them to be back home.
Visit the National Safety Council’s website for more Halloween safety tips. *Statistic provided by Safe Kids Worldwide.