Halloween is one of the most popular holidays in the country. It can be great fun for everyone in your family, whether you are headed to a party or a trick-or-treat circuit around the neighborhood with your kids. But Halloween can also be a dangerous night, largely due to an uptick in negligent motorists and pedestrians alike, increasing the risk of car accidents and pedestrian accidents.
People who over-celebrate the evening at parties might leave far too soon and hit the road while intoxicated. Meanwhile, trick-or-treaters will crowd the sidewalks and crosswalks in large numbers, and not all of them will be cautious when crossing the street. To keep everyone safe this Halloween, you should be prepared with some basic safety tips for drivers and trick-or-treaters alike.
Halloween safety tips for drivers include:
- Slow down in residential areas: When you are driving through a residential area on Halloween evening – trick-or-treating often begins as early as 5 PM – you should drive slower than the usual posted speed limit. Without a posted speed limit, residential areas usually have a speed limit of 25 or 30 mph, depending on where you live. Go a little slower to give yourself a better chance of noticing a trick-or-treater who is about to cross the street without looking.
- Use your headlights: Keep your headlights on while driving on Halloween night, even if the sun has not completely set. The goal is to increase your vehicle’s visibility to trick-or-treaters, so they do not enter the road as you approach. Be sure not to turn on your high beams, though, as this could blind other drivers and pedestrians.
- Never drink and drive: If you drive to a Halloween party, then you should have a designated driver decided before you leave your own home. You could be the designated driver for your friend group if that makes it the easiest for everyone. Whoever is the designated driver should not have any alcohol at all that night.
Halloween safety tips for trick-or-treaters include:
- Wear bright costumes: Trick-or-treaters can increase their visibility to drivers by wearing bright costumes and colors. Reflective stickers or bands can be added to costumes in creative ways to further increase visibility. For example, if your child is going to be a ghost for Halloween, then you can use a glow-in-the-dark fabric or fabric paint to make them spooky and safer.
- Carry a flashlight: Every trick-or-treater should have a flashlight in their candy bag to use once the sun starts to set. When approaching the street to cross or just walking along a poorly lit stretch, flashlights should be used to provide illumination and visibility.
- Use a crosswalk whenever possible: You should only cross the street at a crosswalk whenever possible. If there is no crosswalk available, then use your flashlights, check both directions twice, and cross when there is no approaching vehicle. Even when you cross at a dedicated crosswalk, you should still use caution because, as mentioned, there could be intoxicated drivers on the road who are not paying attention at intersections.
From our legal team at Aizenman Law Group, we wish you and your family the happiest and safest Halloween!