This week many will celebrate Halloween where young children dress up in costumes to go from door to door throughout the neighborhood getting treats and candy from neighbors. It is all in fun, but fun can turn to tragedy very quickly as the dark streets are flocked with young children. Motorists have to take special precautions during this time to protect your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews during the festivities.
Here are some Halloween safety tips for motorists:
- If you do have to go out on Halloween while kids are Trick or Treating, then stay home. This is the best and most effective way to help keep everyone safe.
- 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 into the street.
- Don't utilize your high beams as it may help you see further, it prevents traffic coming in the opposite direction from seeing young children.
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians, curbs, sidewalks and streets with no sidewalks. In dark costumes, they'll be harder to see trick or treating at night.
- Watch for children crossing the street who cross mid-block or between parked cars and may not pay attention to traffic.
- Watch for children darting out from between parked cars and shrubbery.
- Carefully enter and exit driveways.
- Don't park in the street if you don't have to. You are better parking in a driveway, alley or other place off the road to give children and other motorists plenty of room.
- BE CAREFUL BACKING UP! Have someone stand behind the vehicle to make sure that no children are walking by.
- Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible - even in the daylight.
- Broaden your scanning by looking for children left and right into yards and front porches of houses you are driving by.
- At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
- Be Alert, Be Aware, and Be Safe!
Each year in the United States there are several stories of children who are hit by cars during this Halloween tradition. Don't be one of the statistics. Remember that children can be very unpredictable and may dart out when/where you don't expect it. It certainly doesn't help the matter that they are excited about being dressed up, in a hurry to get from house to house and probably have limited vision due to the mask or other costume they are wearing. Take extra precautions and ensure everyone's child gets home safely.