“Because excited trick-or-treaters often forget about safety, motorists and parents must be even more alert,” said Terri Rae Anthony, safety advisor, AAA East Central. “Drivers should to be especially vigilant between the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight, when pedestrians are most vulnerable,” she added.
Here are some tips for parents and drivers to help keep children safe this Halloween:
AAA recommends that parents accompany young trick-or-treaters at least until the age of 12.
Since children are small and often hard to see even in well-lit situations, it is important to be sure a child’s Halloween costume is flame-retardant and visible with retro-reflective material.
Choose disguises that don't obstruct vision and opt for non-toxic face paint instead of masks. Check and adjust the length of costumes to avoid tripping.
Review trick-or-treating precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.
Plan and discuss the route your trick-or-treaters will follow. Teach children to stop only at well-lit houses and to never enter a stranger’s home or garage.
Parents and trick-or-treaters should cross streets only at the corner, and never between parked cars or mid-block. Be sure that approaching cars come to a complete stop before stepping into the roadway.
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.
Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. In dark costumes, they’ll be harder to see at night.
Look for children crossing the street. They may not be paying attention to traffic and cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
Carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys.
Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible – even in the daylight.
Broaden your scanning by looking for children left and right into yards and front porches.
Keep your eyes on the road at all times. Remove any distractions that may you’re your attention away from driving, such as cell phones or in-car entertainment and navigation systems.