They’ve got their costumes, the month couldn’t seem to go by fast enough, and now they are anxiously anticipating the sugar…otherwise known as Trick-or-Treating. Halloween is one of a kid’s favorite holidays each year and they tend to get so enthusiastic about it that they forget about safety. Even if you aren’t responsible for taking any specific trick-or-treaters out that night, you are responsible for every single one you encounter on the road as a motorist. The Kasmann Insurance Agency would like to provide you with a few tips to help everyone stay safe on Halloween night.
Trick-or-treaters should wear brightly colored clothing. If a child’s costume is a dark color, make sure he/she is wearing reflective tape, in addition to being on his/her candy bag or bucket. Wearing glow sticks is another great idea!
Be sure your flashlights are equipped with new batteries to ensure they work throughout the entire evening. Free up hands by placing them inside the treat bucket/bag with the light pointing downward.
Use sidewalks wherever they are available (which definitely isn’t everywhere in Columbia). If sidewalks are not present in the area where your children are walking, instruct them to always walk on the left side of the road facing oncoming traffic.
Avoid crossing streets mid-block or from behind parked cars. Always wait to cross the street until a corner, or intersection, is reached and be sure to look both ways before crossing. Then look both ways again. If there are any cars waiting at the intersection, teach your children they should try to make eye contact with the driver to make certain they are seen.
Prime Trick-or-Treating hours are typically between 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
An alarming number of pedestrian fatalities occur each year on Halloween night due to drunk drivers. Don’t even take a chance. If you’ve had a drink, call a sober friend, a taxi, or Uber a safe ride home.
PLEASE! Eliminate anything in your vehicle that could distract you (besides small people). It’s only one night a year and the safety of trick-or-treaters is much more important than any text or app.
Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit (which is 25 mph in residential neighborhoods). Excited children can move in unpredictable manners.
Do not assume you can pass stopped cars on Halloween night, as they could very well be letting children in or out.
A lot of people like to joke about folks not using turn signals as a regular practice, but it’s especially important on a night when traffic is heavy and there are abundant pedestrians. Make sure you signal when turning and use your hazard lights if you need to pick up or drop off kids.
Turn your headlights on – even if it is still daylight, to make your vehicle as visible as possible.
Turn down or turn off your radio and make sure you are aware of your surroundings at all times. When scanning left and right to look for children, expand your scope beyond the curbs and sidewalks to front doors and porches. Look for and expect that children will dart out behind parked cars and cross the street mid-block. Be ready to stop your vehicle at any moment.
Be extra cautious when entering and exiting driveways and alleys on Halloween night. Look left and right and then look left and right again.
Halloween night can be a lot of fun for children and adults. The agents at Kasmann Insurance want you to stay safe on the road whether you are out walking or driving. Using a little extra caution on such a busy evening will help provide a happy holiday you can continue to look forward to in the future.