Halloween is an exciting time for kids and adults – the delight of dressing up in a fun costume, all of the spooky decorations, and of course let’s not forget the candy. Traditionally, kids trick-or-treat at night – going house-to-house in their costumes. On average, 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. Children are at greater risk of injury than adults because they are small, have trouble judging distances and speeds, and have little to no experience with traffic rules.
On the Trick-or-Treat trail?
As a parent or caregiver, there are a few important things you can do to protect your trick-or-treaters on the Halloween trail.
- Light the way. Bring glow sticks or a flashlight with extra batteries so your trick-or-treater can see (and be seen) in the dark.
- Be visible. Put reflective tape on clothes, costumes, and trick-or-treat bags so your trick-or-treater can be seen by passing motorists.
- Use the crosswalk. Cross the street at a crosswalk or intersection. Never cross the street from between parked cars and don’t assume you have the right-of-way.
- Stay on the sidewalk. If available, use the sidewalk. Otherwise walk on the shoulder facing traffic.
- Pay attention. Distracted walking can be as hazardous as distracted driving so watch where you are going.
- Review traffic safety. Talk to your trick-or-treater about basic traffic laws before leaving the house.
Driving on Halloween?
- Remove distractions. Put your phone in the glovebox or the back seat.
- Practice defensive driving. Be cautious and stay alert to reduce your risk of getting into a crash. Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
- Watch your speed. Pay attention to the speed limit and drive slower when you are around pedestrians.
- Be prepared to stop. Trick-or-treaters may ignore crosswalks and traffic signals so stay alert. Do not pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk – they may be stopped for a pedestrian.
- Do not drive under the influence. Every 51 minutes, one person in the United States dies in a motor vehicle crash that involves an alcohol-impaired driver.
- Properly buckle kids no matter how short the trip. Properly buckling children in their car seats, booster seats, and seat belts when transporting them and making sure that their costumes don’t interfere with them being properly buckled.
- CDC: Recipe for Preparedness: Trick-or-Treat Safety Kit
- CDC: Halloween Health and Safety
- CDC: Seven Ways to Be Safe and Healthy This Halloween
- CDC: Walk This Way! Taking Steps for Pedestrian Safety
- CDC: Child Passenger Safety
- Safe Kids Worldwide: Halloween Safety
- National Safety Council: Spooky Truths Regarding Halloween Safety On and Off the Road
- American Academy of Pediatrics: Halloween Safety Tips