Halloween is one of the most anticipated days of the year for many children. They dress up in costumes and eagerly wait for the sun to go down so they can finally go trick-or-treating. However, Halloween is also one of the most dangerous nights for children. They are already at a higher risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident than adults. Children are smaller and often harder to see. But they're even harder to see when they are running down dark sidewalks in costumes.
Here are some tips for drivers and trick-or-treaters to help keep everyone safe on Halloween from SafeKids.org and the South Florida personal injury attorneys at Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A.:
Watch the Road. Distracted driving greatly increases your risk of being involved in an accident. And with so many children out and about, many of them wearing masks and costumes, it can make it much more difficult to see them. If you are looking down at your phone, or adjusting the radio while your car is moving, you might not see a child who has darted out in the road.
Drive slow. Speeding is never a safe idea, bu
t on Halloween, it puts you at an even higher risk of an accident. The faster you drive, the less time you have to react to obstacles in the road. If those obstacles include children crossing the street as they are trick-or-treating, you might be a split second too late and not stop in time.
Wear reflective clothing: Whether your child is Batman or Queen Elsa, make sure they are wearing something reflective on their costume. Reflective clothing makes it much easier for passing cars to see children on the sidewalks or in the road. Also, make sure you child has a flashlight with them at all times.
Check the costumes: Long cape or dresses can make it difficult to walk and ill-fitting masks can make it difficult for children to see. Use face paint instead of a mask so that your children can see where they are walking and trim capes and dresses to make sure your child can move easily.
Stay on the sidewalk: Darting into the road is never a safe idea, and on Halloween it's even more dangerous. A passing car might not see your child in time to stop, even if they're wearing their reflective gear. If there aren't any sidewalks on your street, walk as far off to the side of the road as possible, facing traffic.
Following these tips can help keep everyone safe this holiday.