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What To Look Out For In Traffic During Halloween

Drivers should be careful when driving around costumed youngsters rushing into the road, trick-or-treating in parking lots, or walking along the streets on Halloween.

Halloween has historically been a deadly day for pedestrians, especially young ones. According to thorough research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that examined 42 years of data, the chance of a pedestrian death on Halloween was 43 percent greater than on other dates in October.

Drivers and pedestrians must be reminded of the risks. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety stated that around half of all highway fatalities occur in the dark or at dawn or twilight. According to Matthew Brumbelow, an IIHS senior research engineer, night driving is three times more dangerous than driving during the day.

A total of 6,205 pedestrians were killed in highway accidents in 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The good news is that there are apparent precautions that trick-or-treaters and drivers may follow to ensure everyone's safety. From CR experts and the NHTSA, here are some recommendations:

Tips for Trick-or-Treaters

  • Children under the age of 12 should be accompanied by their parents.

  • Pedestrians should not assume they have the right-of-way while crossing driveways since drivers may not notice them.

  • Children should walk, not run, from one home to the next. Children should remain on sidewalks rather than stroll between automobiles or lawns where there may be tripping hazards.

  • Families with little ones should begin their trick-or-treating before it becomes dark, especially if they are dressed in light-colored costumes to allow cars to see them. Costumes that include reflective material on both the front and back are easy to identify.

  • Costumes with masks should be avoided since they make it harder for a youngster to see.

  • Give youngsters flashlights to use when walking in the dark so that vehicles can see them better.

  • The use of glow sticks may also be beneficial.

  • Kids should keep their phones in their pockets unless they snap pictures on a porch. Walking while using a gadget puts the youngster in danger of being distracted.

Helpful Advice for Drivers

  • Trick-or-treaters may not be present, but you should still drive gently in residential areas, even if you do not see any.

  • Drinking and driving is never a good idea. Halloween is a time when drunk driving occurrences rise. According to NHTSA data, 41 percent of all those killed in Halloween night car accidents from 2014 to 2018 were involved in drunk driving collisions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately one-third of all fatal crashes in the United States are caused by drunk drivers.

  • If you see a youngster darting out into the roadway, make sure you give pedestrians priority. More children are likely to cross over if you witness just one.

  • Trick-or-treating may be a dangerous experience for youngsters who are not adequately secured in a car seat or seat belt. Make sure they are buckled up every time they get in the vehicle, and check to see whether they're secure before driving to the next location.

  • It's possible that parents driving their children to Halloween-related events will do so while they're fully dressed up. Costumes with extra padding or rough surfaces may make it difficult for a child's car seat harness or vehicle safety belt to fit correctly. Consumer Reports recommend a costume without padding or hard surfaces, or your youngster may change into his or her costume after they get to their location.

  • Let youngsters leave the vehicle at the curb, away from traffic, in a safe spot. To make yourself visible to other cars, turn on your warning lights.

  • If you can, find a position without having to back up. However, if you must, make sure an adult is outside to ensure that no youngsters are in the path of your car as it moves.

  • While driving, don't use a cell phone or any other mobile device. If you need to check voicemail or text messages, pull over securely.

This Halloween, ensure it's safe for everyone by being extra careful and alert. Come to Highway Hero Driving Academy if unsure about your driving skills.

Sound Off

Do you find driving during Halloween to be annoying or difficult? Let us know your thoughts in the comment below!

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