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Halloween safety tips for pedestrians and drivers

Consumer Reports News: October 28, 2009 05:08 AM

With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, expect even more ghosts, goblins, and witches to take part in the annual trick-or-treat festivities. And with the return to Standard Time on November 1st, it’s even more of an opportunity for children to stay out later at night with the extra hour due to turning back the clocks at 2 a.m.

Pedestrians and drivers need to be extra cautious on the roads, as Halloween is typically the second deadliest day for pedestrians after New Year’s Day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In addition, Saturdays have the highest probability of pedestrian crash fatalities (more than any other day of the week), so it’s important to be extra vigilant this year and follow these tips to ensure a safe and incident-free Halloween.

For pedestrians:
  • Parents should accompany children if they are younger than 12 years old.
  • Children should walk and not run from house to house.
  • Children should stay on sidewalks instead of walking between cars or on lawns where there could be ornaments or wires that could be a tripping hazard.
  • Consider a costume that is a lighter color and more visible to motorists (for more on costume safety, see our safety blog). Add reflective material front and back; it can even be part of the design.
  • If children are walking in the dark, give them a flashlight, so they can be seen by drivers. Glow sticks can further aid visibility.
For drivers:
  • Drive slowly in and around neighborhoods and residential streets.
  • Watch for children who may dart out into the street. Expect the unexpected.
  • If you are driving children around for trick or treating, make sure they are buckled up in a child safety seat or vehicle seatbelt, each and every time they enter the car.
  • Pull over to safe locations to let children exit curb side, away from traffic. Use your hazards to alert other drivers of not only your car, but to exercise caution. Especially on Halloween, they will be extra wary for children as a result.
  • Do not use a cell phone or other mobile device while driving. It is far too dangerous to drive on Halloween to add further, unnecessary risks. Pull over safely to check voice messages, or texts, as needed.
For tips on preparing your house for Halloween safety, see our Baby blog. Our safety blog has some Halloween cautions and recalls. For more on child safety, see our kids and car safety guide.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Liza Barth 

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