It’s hard to believe that Halloween is tomorrow but before you know it costumed children will be wandering the streets in search of endless amounts of candy! This can be a nightmare for both drivers and nervous parents since the excitement of the holiday can sometimes distract from basic safety. When you’re out and about tomorrow night, keep these tips for drivers and trick or treaters in mind to ensure that everyone stays as safe as possible!
- Find out exactly when children will be trick or treating in your neighborhood! Each town varies but it should be listed either on the town website or in the local paper. It’s definitely important to know and during designated trick or treating times try to avoid residential streets that will be busy with children or totally stay off the road if possible.
- Turn on headlights earlier than usual, the extra visibility doesn’t hurt especially since it has been darker than usual the last few days thanks to Hurricane Sandy.
- The most important thing that drivers can do is to stay as vigilant as possible, drive slower on residential streets, or anywhere that visibility is limited, and remain aware of children that are trick or treating and may unexpectedly jump out in front of cars.
- As always, do not text and drive and try to limit any cell phone usage on Halloween unless it is an emergency. Halloween is very busy on the roads and dangerous for trick or treaters so it is especially important to give the road your full attention!
Trick Or Treaters and Parents:
- Make sure trick or treaters are as visible as possible, bright costumes are great but reflective tape and flashlights are even better. If your trick or treater doesn’t want to ruin the look of their costume with reflective sneakers or gear, try and attach reflective tape to their candy bag! Flashlights are another great way to remain visible to drivers, just make sure the batteries are new or fully charged before going out.
- Plan your route in advance! This is especailly important after the hurricane, make sure there are no road obstacles, power lines, or branches blocking your expected route so that you can make alternative plans if that is the case. Try and avoid roads that you know are busy with cars, odds are they will get even more backed up on Halloween and be that much more dangerous.
- Respect your neighbors, only trick or treat at houses that have outside lights on. Some neighborhood residents may not wish to participate or may be away so do not approach a house if it is in darkness. Don’t allow children to cut across driveways or run accross lawns which may upset some neighbors. Also, abide by designated trick 0r treating times. Don’t show up too early before your neighbors may be expecting visitors and try to finish up by the deadline, we know it’s tough to walk away from candy but sometimes you have to draw the line before a sugar rush kicks in.
- Be practical in your costume choices, try to avoid costumes that drag on the ground as they are a hazard that could cause children to trip and fall, not a good scenario when the roads are busy as well. Another thing to keep in mind is footwear. Trick or treaters are going to have to cover a lot of ground if they are going to get as much candy as possible which is why footwear is so important. Kids will be walking through lawns, up hills, and for longer distances than many are used to, so make sure they have comfortable shoes, preferably sneakers. Although pirate boots and princess shoes add to the costume, they are not practical for children who will be out trick or treating.
- Make sure that any props (such as sticks, swords, wands, etc) children may have for their costume are flexible so that they can’t cause injury. Also, make sure any masks they may be wearing provide full visibility and let them breathe.
- Parents, make sure to pay extra attention during Halloween, keep your trick or treaters close by and instruct them to walk, not run from house to house. Hold hands for children that are extremely small and try to stay in a big group if possible.
Whether you are checking out some of these haunted Halloween attractions, taking a haunted drive, or even visiting Salem, keep these important safety tips in mind! They apply to drivers everywhere and are good to keep in mind not only for trick or treaters, but anyone out on foot for Halloween!
Photo By: Scott & Elaine van der Chijs