29 Halloween Safety Tips for Preventing Car Accidents & Mishaps
On Halloween, you not only have to be careful so that you and your little ones are safe walking the streets, but you also need to be especially careful when driving on Halloween. Unfortunately, children have a much greater chance of being fatally injured by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year. In some areas, Halloween is the deadliest day of the year for child pedestrians, with an average of 5.5 fatalities each year on October 31, that’s double the average number of 2.6 fatalities on any given day. The deadliest hours are from 6 pm to 9 pm.
You may think that safety precautions are in place, with police patrolling intersections and crosswalks, but rarely do accidents happen in these secured areas. Over 70% of accidents occur in the middle of the block, often with children suddenly darting out onto the road, where they are often too small to see in fall’s early nightfall.
Children ages 12-15 account for nearly 32% of the fatalities, followed by children aged 5 to 8, who account for 23%. Younger drivers, aged 15-25, account for roughly ⅓ of these accidents.
On Halloween, SmartFinancial wants you to only have fun. Take a look at our tips to make sure your evening ends on the same high note it started on.
Halloween Street Safety Tips for Kids:
By Halloween, it gets pretty dark out by 6 pm, which makes for great ambiance on a night filled with monsters and creatures meant to scare the wits out of all of us, but what’s even scarier than the pint-sized ghouls and goblins is the reduced visibility on the roads which is often accompanied by drinking and driving.
The same rules of safety apply on Halloween night like any other but you should be even more vigilant, due to so much activity and chaos the holiday brings. Here’s a reminder of a few precautions.
- Always add lights and reflectors to your children’s Halloween costumes, to make them all that much more visible to someone who may be distracted by the parade of trick-or-treaters and may not see your child in, say, a grey rat costume that blends with the concrete road. In fact, reflectors and lights may be the only way to ensure visibility once the sun goes down, regardless of the color of your child’s costume.
- Tell your children to only cross at crosswalks and to stay on sidewalks. Tell them to only trick-or-treat at homes they are familiar with and to avoid streets that are not well-lit.
- Be a chaperone or be in good communication with the chaperone, who should be fully aware of the dangers of children getting hit by cars on Halloween. Make sure the adult in charge takes their responsibility seriously. All children under the age of 13 should be accompanied by an adult. Cell phones should be charged and on-hand so parents can be in touch with their children.
- Tell children to be especially wary of SUVs and other vehicles that are high off the ground because their visibility is compromised to drivers of such vehicles. SUVs tend to hit pedestrians in the head or chest, making injuries even more difficult to sustain too.
- Teach your children never to cross from between parked cars, only the crosswalk, especially on Halloween.
- Tell children not to eat any candy until they’re home and you’ve inspected the treats thoroughly.
- Throw away any candy or fruit that is not wrapped and sealed.
Halloween Costume Safety for Kids
While your kids just want to look as amazing as possible, your job is to make sure the magic happens without any incident. For that reason, we advise you to choose your child’s costume carefully. Follow these rules:
- Make sure your child’s costume is not full of sharp edges, in case they fall. Fake knives and swords should be flexible and not likely to cause injury.
- Make sure face paints and glitter are all non-toxic.
- Make sure your children can see properly out of their masks, especially when it gets dark.
- Only buy “flame retardant” costumes. Otherwise, wigs and wings could catch fire very easily.
- If your child is wearing a cape, have it hemmed so it doesn’t cause a trip-and-fall accident.
- Make sure your child is wearing sturdy footwear and no high heels! No, not even for the princess.
- Give your children small flashlights and tell them how to contact you if there’s trouble.
Halloween Driving Safety Tips
Not only do children run a higher risk of getting hit by a car on Halloween, but you are also at a greater risk of hitting someone, possibly a child, if you’re not extra vigilant on this hectic day (and night). Take the following precautions to make sure you don’t injure anyone while driving:
- Turn on your headlights. They will make you more visible, even from a distance. Make sure not to turn on your brights, as this may have a blinding effect on pedestrians.
- Stay alert. Pay special attention to your entire surroundings. Don’t text (not even at a light) and don’t turn up the music too loud. You’ll want to hear if there are children near or around your car, where they may not be easily visible.
- Drive slowly. Go slower than the posted speed limit because people will be darting out of nowhere. The slower you drive the better you’ll be able to react if a child appears when you least expect it. Be especially careful at crosswalks.
- Don’t pass a stopped vehicle. If you must, do it very hesitantly and slowly because children may be coming out of the car or running into it without paying much attention to what you’re doing.
- Turn on your hazard lights when dropping off your kids so that others are paying attention. Let them out carefully and with assistance, only after you see that it’s safe for them to exit.
- Do not drink and drive on Halloween. You should never drive under the influence of alcohol, but especially not on Halloween when you need to be on high alert.
- If you can, avoid driving between the hours of 5 pm and 9 pm.
- Be especially careful when backing up at any point on Halloween. Children are especially difficult to see behind a car unless you have a rearview camera.
Halloween Pet Safety
Your animals are also at risk during Halloween. Often, the pet dog or cat is used as a prop, which may or may not be a good idea, depending on the pet. If you’re staying home, there are other stresses: Some pets become highly anxious and/or agitated by frequent visits from strangers. There are other special risks that your pets face on this fun holiday too. Keep them safe by keeping the following points in mind.
- Keep your pet calm if he/she tends to become very anxious on Halloween. Discuss the problem with your vet or buy a natural remedy like Rescue Relief to administer to your dog(s) and/or cat(s) before trick-or-treaters begin ringing the doorbell.
- Do not leave your pets out in the yard on Halloween. You never know when other pets might come around and not be so friendly. Plus, there’s general mischief in the air, and you don’t want your pet to get hurt by a kid doing something silly.
- Keep all candy, sugary treats (especially chocolate) and artificially sweetened sweets included, out of a pet’s reach.
- Keep glow sticks away from pets.
- Keep pets away from the door and try to keep them confined when trick-or-treaters come to the door. You are protected with renters or homeowners insurance against claims if Fido bites someone, but do you really want to go through all that?
Keeping Your Car Safe on Halloween
While you may stay in and not do much on Halloween, your car is still at risk with so many people running around on Halloween. Protect yourself by taking care to do the following:
- Don’t leave any valuables or belongings in your car, even if you leave it locked. Keep your phone and/or cameras in your possession or secured in a glove compartment. You don’t want to tempt anyone into breaking into your car.
- Protect your car from getting egged or worse by parking it in the garage. If you do not have a garage, you may want to cover your car for some level of protection. If you are out of luck with both of these options, at the very least, park your car in a well-lit area with foot traffic. Vandals tend to flourish only in the dark and without witnesses.
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