Halloween is a fun time for kids, but it can also be dangerous walking the streets after dark. That’s why drivers must take extra precautions when driving on Halloween, as children are prone to unpredictable behavior as pedestrians. Consumer Reports offers the following advice to both drivers and trick-or-treaters to reduce the risk of a serious accident.
When driving in residential areas, drive as slowly as possible. It might be hard to see kids dressed in dark costumes, and children don’t often use crosswalks when crossing the street. If you see any children as you’re driving, adjust your speed accordingly, even if that means going under the posted speed limit. Also, keep driving distractions at bay. While this is an important rule in general, you want to be alert and aware of your surroundings on Halloween.
If you’re driving kids around the neighborhood while trick-or-treating, make sure they’re properly secured within the vehicle. Seatbelts are a must, even if you’re only driving a short distance from house to house. When letting children out of your vehicle, make sure you’re stopped in a safe location where they can easily access the sidewalk without crossing other streets. When stopped, turning on your hazard lights is a good way to alert other drivers to the presence of your kids.
If your kids are walking, make sure they’re accompanied by an adult if they’re under a certain age. Kids 12 and up can usually navigate streets safely, but younger kids will need to be chaperoned on Halloween. If your child is wearing a black or dark-colored costume, use reflective tape so they can be easily seen at night. You can also give your child a flashlight or glow stick. If your child wants to wear a mask, make sure it doesn’t obscure their visibility when walking.