My top Halloween safety tips for drivers include: (1) do not speed; (2) constantly watch for pedestrians and trick-or-treaters; (3) be ready to stop in an instant; and (4) be 100% alert. For ghosts, goblins and parents, my tips are: (1) cross at crosswalks; (2) make yourself visible; and (3) watch for cars.
Halloween is a terrific holiday. It’s always been one of my family’s favorites.
But amidst the sugar-fueled fun, the goofy and scary costumes, and all the candy there should also be very real safety concerns on Halloween that parents and drivers need to be attuned to.
Here’s the most truly frightful fact that all parents – and drivers – need to know:
“Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year,” according to Safe Kids Worldwide.
That’s a grim statistic. It is not meant to scare you. It is meant to be a sober reminder for all. Knowing that children are twice as likely to be killed by a car on Halloween should hopefully be the motivation for safety and a reminder that we need to put down our cell phones, to keep our eyes on the road, and to drive with even more caution than we otherwise might.
Keeping our children safe on Halloween starts with committing to being better drivers.
Sadly, as an auto accident attorney, I’ve received the calls from parents who have had children hit by cars on Halloween night. I have personally seen how families can be ripped apart following a car accident.
There is nothing more tragic for a parent than losing a child – and nothing that is more regrettable than when this is 100% preventable, especially when a person was driving distracted because of texting or was driving drunk and impaired.
Alcohol can also be an even bigger danger on Halloween night. Many parents of little children go to parties where alcohol is served, or they go out with other adults trick or treating with their children, sipping from cups that contain a “little something extra” to keep them warm.
Although it is important for trick-or-treaters to be as safe and responsible as they can under the circumstances, the burden of keeping people safe ultimately rests with parents and drivers.
As such, this Halloween (as on every night), let’s all focus on safety. Please slow down in neighborhoods while the kids are running around. Take the time to assess your surroundings, identify where people are and where they are going to, and be patient, cautious and safe.
Even if it takes you a little bit longer to get where you are going, the satisfaction of knowing you helped kids safely celebrate another Halloween will be a “treat” you can enjoy and be proud of.
Halloween safety tips for drivers
Drivers can make a huge difference in terms of ensuring the safety of our young trick-or-treaters if they follow these Halloween safety tips:
- Watch for trick-or-treaters
- Prepare to encounter more pedestrians than usual
- Be ready to stop for pedestrians emerging from between parked cars
- Do not speed
- Obey the speed limit
- Adjust your speed so you can stop quickly if necessary
- Allow longer travel times and do not be in a hurry
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully
- Proceed cautiously in crosswalks
- Do not text and drive
- Do not engage in distracted driving
- Do not drive if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Make sure you are properly rested before you get behind the wheel
Halloween safety tips include no drinking and driving
In 2020, 56 people were killed on Halloween night in drunk-driving car crashes and adults between the ages of 21 and 34 had the highest percentage (68%) of fatalities in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween night, according to NHTSA.
On Halloween in 2019, there were 21 vehicle occupants and four pedestrians killed in drunk-driving auto accidents.
Even though Halloween is largely a kids’ holiday, I know that parents and adults have also been known to join in the celebration. If that’s you and you’re celebrating with adult beverages on the street while your kids are running up to ring doorbells, please don’t get behind the wheel.
Halloween safety tips for parents and trick-or-treaters
While car accidents pose the biggest dangers for children, and thus drivers the largest burden for ensuring kids’ safety on Halloween, there are still important actions that parents and trick-or-treaters can take to protect themselves. These include:
- Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks
- Watch for cars – and keep watching – as you are crossing the street
- Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them
- Always walk on sidewalks or paths when it is possible
- If there are no sidewalks and you must walk in the road, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible
- Stay on lighted streets as much as possible
- Watch for cars that are turning or backing up
- Never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars
- Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers
- Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision
- To increase visibility at night, decorate or trim costumes and candy bags with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car’s headlights
- Make sure you tie hats, scarves and masks securely to prevent them from slipping over children’s eyes and obstructing their vision
- Make sure the masks provide adequate ventilation and have eye holes large enough to allow full vision
Injured in a car accident on Halloween? Contact a Michigan Auto Law attorney first a free consultation
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in a car accident because a driver disregarded common sense Halloween safety tips and you have questions about your legal rights to pain and suffering compensation, economic damages and auto No-Fault insurance benefits, you can speak to one of our experienced car accident attorneys at (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. You can also get help from an experienced auto accident attorney by visiting our contact page or chat feature on our website.
(Source: NHTSA, 2022 and 2021 Halloween Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving Fact Sheet & Talking Points)