Halloween means children getting outdoors to enjoy treats, fun and games. Many children will ‘trick or treat’ in the dusk and dark. Because nighttime driving is more dangerous, it requires extra attention from motorists, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nearly half of all fatal pedestrian crashes and almost one-third of fatal bicycle crashes occur in low-light or dark conditions. According to a National Safe Kids study, children riding bicycles in low light (nighttime, dusk or dawn) are four times more likely to be injured than while riding in daylight conditions.
The following safety tips can keep you safe during Halloween and all year long.
Tips for motorists
Slow down. Watch for children walking on roads, medians and curbs. Enter and exit driveways carefully.
Be especially alert for children darting out from between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs. They are excited and not paying attention.
Never drink and drive-on Halloween or any night. If you are partying, designate a driver.
Tips for parents
Adults should accompany children at ALL times and supervise their ‘trick or treat’ activities.
Teach children to ‘stop, look left-right-left, and listen’ before they cross the street.
Use a flashlight and wear retro-reflective strips or patches on your clothing or costume to be more visible to motorists.
Be certain that the mask does not obstruct vision or hearing.
Ensure that costumes do not impede walking or driving ability.
Tips for pedestrians (children and adults)
Before crossing a street, stop at the curb or edge of the road and look left, right, and left again to be sure no cars are coming. Continue to check for traffic while on the street.
Walk—NEVER RUN—from house to house or across the road.
Cross the street ONLY at intersections and crosswalks.
When crossing at an intersection with a traffic light, be sure to watch for turning cars. Obey all pedestrian signals.
Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.
By taking some extra time to make sure drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists obey the rules, Halloween can be a safe time for all.
Rita Hodges serves as the Ellis County Extension Agent-Family & Consumer Sciences, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Visit Rita at the Extension Office located at 701 S. I-35 E, Waxahachie, TX 75165; phone 972-825-5175; or emal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Educational programs of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status. The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating.