Halloween is a time for spooky fun and celebration, but it can also be a dangerous time for pedestrians. According to a 2019 study, child pedestrians aged 4 to 8 years are ten times more likely to be killed by a motor vehicle on Halloween than on other days. Contributing factors include dark evenings, dark costumes, and an increase in kids on and around streets.
In addition, adult pedestrian fatalities from 2011-2020 peaked on Nov. 1, with many of these deaths occurring in the early morning hours, possibly the result of a late night out. To keep you and your loved ones safe this holiday, read on for Halloween safety tips for pedestrians.
7 Halloween Safety Tips
1. Use Sidewalks & Crosswalks
As the spooky season approaches, it's important to remember to use sidewalks and designated crosswalks when you're out trick-or-treating. Not only does it make you more visible to drivers, but according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), sidewalks can also help prevent the majority of crashes involving pedestrians walking along roadways. In fact, they suggest that using sidewalks can decrease the risk by up to 88%.
In addition to protecting yourself, you’re setting a good example for other pedestrians and children on Halloween night.
2. Teach Children to Make Eye Contact with Drivers
For the safety of children, it's important to teach them the simple but crucial habit of making eye contact with drivers before crossing the road. It can be easy to forget, especially with distractions like Halloween costumes or friends nearby, but taking a moment to ensure a driver has seen them could make all the difference.
This behavior shouldn't be limited to Halloween night, either. Teaching children to make eye contact with drivers early on can help them build safe habits for their entire lives.
3. Avoid Looking at Your Phone
It's no secret that smartphones have become a constant companion for many of us. But, as much as they can provide entertainment and convenience, they can also be a significant safety hazard in certain situations. According to a survey by CarInsurance.org, 76% of drivers have witnessed pedestrians walking while being distracted by their phones.
In addition, an estimated 7,485 people on foot were struck and killed by drivers in 2021. This is an unfortunate reality that underscores the importance of being fully aware of your surroundings while walking. Whether it's Halloween or any other day of the year, be sure to keep your eyes on the road and avoid getting caught up on your phone.
4. Monitor Children
Halloween is a beloved holiday for kids, and trick-or-treating is a cherished tradition. If your child is under 12 years old, it’s recommended that you join them as they trick-or-treat. However, if your child is older and you feel comfortable letting them venture out without supervision, it's important to remind them to stick to familiar and to always stay in groups.
This ensures a safe and fun-filled experience for all involved. It may also be helpful to provide older kids with a designated cell phone, just in case of any unexpected mishaps.
5. Stay in Well Lit Areas
According to statistics, the highest number of pedestrian crashes occur at 7 p.m. With Halloween approaching, it's important to be mindful of this statistic while walking in the dark.
Make sure to stick to well-lit areas and avoid taking shortcuts through unlit streets. Additionally, consider wearing brightly-colored clothing or adding reflective tape to your costume to increase your visibility to drivers.
6. Walk Don’t Run
On Halloween, it's important to stay safe while trick-or-treating. One way to do this is to avoid running and teach your children to walk from house to house. This is because many drivers may not be expecting people to dart out across the road on Halloween night. By being cautious and taking it slow, you can reduce the risk of accidents and ensure that everyone has a fun and enjoyable evening.
7. Carry a Flashlight
With trick or treating going late into the evening, it's important to consider safety precautions for children and adults alike. Bringing a flashlight along can be an added safety measure to ensure a better view of the surroundings for both children and drivers. A flashlight can help children avoid tripping or stumbling and also make it easier for drivers to see them, especially in low visibility conditions.
Halloween is a time of fun scares and silly costumes, but it's important to remember to stay safe as well. By following some simple tips, you and your loved ones can have a spooky and enjoyable holiday this year.
However, accidents can happen, and if you find yourself involved in a pedestrian accident that was not your fault, don't hesitate to contact our skilled pedestrian accident lawyers at May, Rammell & Wells. We will analyze your situation and work diligently to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact us at (208) 623-8021 or reach out to us online.