In just a few short weeks, your neighbourhood will most likely be filled with young ghosts, goblins, princesses and superheroes going from house to house to fill up their trick-or-treat bags. Halloween is a fun time of year for kids and parents alike – but to keep your evening a fun one, it’s important to take some extra precautions if you plan to drive on Halloween.
Since children are not always as careful as their parents would like them to be, drivers must be extra vigilant. The following are a few tips – both for drivers and for trick-or-treaters to help keep everyone safe on the streets this October 31st.
Tips for Drivers
- Be especially careful on the roads between 4pm and 8pm as this is when the majority of children are out trick-or-treating. Slow down when you are driving through residential neighbourhoods.
- Avoid distractions. It only takes a second for a child to dart out in front of your vehicle, so drive will your cell phone turned off or set to do-not-disturb.
- Use caution around stopped vehicles as these may be dropping off trick-or-treaters. If you must pass a stopped vehicle, do so slowly and watch out for young pedestrians.
- Yield to pedestrians. Remember that on Halloween night, young children may be so excited that they forget some basic safety rules when crossing the street – or some may have never been properly taught.
- Use your signals. Communicate with other drivers by always using your signals. And if you are dropping off or picking up your own little goblins, be sure to use your four way lights. Instruct children to get in and out of your car on the side of the vehicle that is closest to the sidewalk.
Tips for Trick-or-Treaters
- Make sure that your kids know how to properly cross the street, looking both ways and only crossing at corners and designated crosswalks. Teach your children that they should never cross the road in front of a parked car. And if you have older children with cell phones, remind them that they should not be updating their Facebook status or sending a SnapChat when they are crossing the street!
- Make sure that they are visible to drivers. This can be done by having them dress in light coloured costumes, giving them flashlights (with fresh batteries) to carry, or using reflective strips on their costumes.
- Consider using make-up instead of a mask. Even if a child looks both ways before they cross the street, a mask could restrict their vision. If they do have a mask, ensure that eye holes are cut big enough for them to see well.
- Young children should always be accompanied by an adult when they are out trick-or-treating.
- For very young children, you might want to consider an alternative to trick-or-treating such as an indoor community family Halloween party.
As you prepare for Halloween this year, be sure to make safety part of your plan. Picking out costumes and carving pumpkins is sure to be a lot of fun for you and your family, but the night can only remain fun if everyone stays safe.