Halloween Car Safety Tips
Here are tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics on reducing your child’s risk of a pedestrian injury, the most common injury to children on Halloween. Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going. Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags. Carry a cell phone for quick communication. Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic. Never cut across yards or use alleys. Only cross the street as a group in established cross walks. Never cross between parked cars or out of driveways. Here are some additional tips for a safe Halloween when walking along the streets of a neighborhood and additional safety tips for a happy and healthy Halloween.
Pedestrian Injuries on Halloween
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that children are four times more likely to be struck by a motor vehicle on Halloween than any other day of the year.
Here are some tips from AAA on keeping young trick-or-treaters safe on Halloween.
AAA Tips for Motorists
- Slow down in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals.
- Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself extra time to react to children who may dart out in the street.
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. In dark costumes, they’ll be harder to see at night.
- Look for children crossing the street. They may not be paying attention to traffic and cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
- Carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys.
- Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible, even in the daylight.
- Broaden your scanning by looking for children left and right and into yards and porches.
AAA Tips for Parents
- Ensure an adult or older responsible youth is available to supervise children under 12.
- Plan and discuss the route your trick-or-treaters will follow.
- Teach children to stop only at well-lit houses and to never enter a stranger’s house or garage.
- Establish a time for children to return home from trick-or-treating.
- Tell children not to eat any Halloween treats until they get home.
- Make sure Halloween costumes are flame-retardant.
AAA Tips for Trick-or-Treaters
- Be bright at night. Wear retro-reflective tape on costumes and treat buckets to improve visibility to motorists.
- Wear disguises that don’t obstruct vision. Use nontoxic face paint. Watch the length of billowy costumes to help avoid tripping. Insure any props are flexible to avoid injury.
- Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries. Never shine it in the eyes of oncoming drivers.
- Stay on sidewalks and avoid walking in streets.
- If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
- Look both ways and listen for traffic before crossing the street.
- Cross streets only at the corner and never cross between parked vehicles or mid-block.
Halloween Tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Follow these driving safety tips on Halloween or whenever your community hosts Halloween activities.
- Be especially careful between the times of 4 p.m and 8 p.m. when the most severe accidents between young people and motorists happen.
- Drive slowly and don’t pass a stopped vehicle. The driver could be dropping off children.
- Put away your cell phone. Avoid distractions while driving. You can call, text or surf the Web once you get to your destination.
- Keep your eyes out for children darting out in the street. Children can cross the street anywhere. Most young pedestrian deaths happen at spots other than intersections. So watch out for little ones crossing the street on Halloween.
- Always yield to young pedestrians. Children might not stop. They might not see your vehicle approaching or they don’t know how to safely cross the street.
- Communicate with other drivers. Always use your turn signals. And if you have to pull over to drop off or pick up kids, turn on your hazard lights.
Tips for Keeping Young Ones Safe on Halloween from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Teach trick-or-treaters how to safely cross streets. Teach them to look both ways and cross only at corners and crosswalks.
- Inspect your kids’ Halloween treats to make sure they are safe to eat.
- Brighten them up. Give trick-or-treaters flashlights and glow sticks and use reflective tape on costume, so drivers will see them.
Halloween Safety Tips for Motorists from the National Safety Council
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
- At twilight and later in the evening watch for children in dark clothing.
- Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween.
Advice for Trick-or-Treaters from the National Safety Council
Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
Have a Healthy Halloween
Give your child a good meal before trick-or-treating. Having a good meal already will discourage them from filling up on too many Halloween treats.
Consider giving out non-edible Halloween goodies. With so many children with food allergies, you can promote a safe Hallloween with glow sticks, spider rings, vampire fangs, pencils, bubbles, bouncy balls, finger puppets, whistles, bookmarks, stickers and stencils.
Try to ration treats for the days and weeks following Halloween. It is a great opportunity to teach your child about moderation and balance.
Protecting Your Car on Halloween
Pumpkins could be thrown into your car on Halloween. And even worse your car could be egged. Vandalism happens on the scariest night of the year. Protect your car’s paint job by rinsing and cleaning your car off as soon as possible. If you have comprehensive insurance coverage, you are covered for vandalism and the insurance coverage is there if you should need to make a claim.
Here are some tips for protecting your vehicle from vandalism on Halloween:.
When you’re going to a new neighborhood, see if you can get a heads up before you go about where to park. Plan to get there a little early because the best spots are bound to fill up quickly. Try to stick to well-lit and open areas. If you’re going to a spot downtown, try parking in a well-lit parking deck or controlled access parking lot, which typically have at least one attendant all night to collect parking fees. The light and the attendant will help to deter vandals.
Leave your car at home on Halloween and get a ride with a friend, a rideshare, a cab or public transit. Keep your car safe by parking in your personal garage. So if there is too much stuff in your garage for a car, clean it out and make room. You want a safe place for your car to be on Halloween. And your very own garage is it.
If you don’t have a garage, park your car in a well-lit spot near your home. Don’t leave any valuables visible in your car. For example, don’t leave your purse or wallet visible from the front seat. Don’t leave bags on car seats or on the floor of the car. Thieves may break in to grab these items by breaking your car’s windows. So keep the inside of your car as empty as possible.
If you have a car alarm, use it on Halloween. The noise may deter a thief or a vandal. Lock your car, even if it is just sitting in the driveway at home. Keep your car safe by locking it up.
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