While October 31 is a date associated with scares and frights, there’s no reason for the horrors to extend to the roads. But, unfortunately, this popular family occasion is often associated with an increase in crashes.
One study found a 43 percent increase in the risk of pedestrian death on Halloween compared to one week earlier and one week later. For children between four and eight years of age, the risk of pedestrian fatality was 10 times higher at Halloween*.
This Halloween, some areas may have fewer (or no) trick-or-treaters due to COVID-19 restrictions, while in others, traditions may continue. Regardless, take precautions to have extra awareness of potential pedestrians on Halloween.
This Halloween, eDriving is offering the following safety tips to help keep drivers and families safe:
- Assume all residential areas will have children on the streets
- Use headlights, even at dusk
- Drive well under the posted speed limit, particularly on curves
- Look out for children entering the road from stopped vehicles
- Take extra care when entering/exiting driveways and turning into roads
- Use turn signals to indicate your intentions
- Yield to children
- Expect children to cross the road where they shouldn’t – and without checking that it’s safe
- Stay focused. Avoid distractions such as phones, interacting with GPS, eating and drinking
- Don’t consume any alcohol if you’re driving; impairment begins below the legal drink-driving limit
Parents/ guardians of trick-or-treaters:
- Adhere to any COVID-19 restrictions and safety guidance in your area – this may include avoiding visiting other people’s houses
- Accompany children under 12
- Use blinkers/hazard lights when dropping off or picking up children in your car
- Encourage children to wear costumes that are bright and reflective. Add strips of reflective/glow-in-the-dark tape to dark costumes and/or Halloween treat/loot buckets or bags.
- Make sure costumes are not a trip hazard, particularly capes and cloaks
- Set a good example while accompanying children: walk, don’t run, cross the road at designated places, stay on the sidewalk and use well-lit streets
- Equip children with a flashlight with fresh batteries and/or glowsticks
- If you’re allowing older children to go out alone, agree a safe route beforehand and talk about the rules they must follow, including crossing at safe places, looking both ways and listening for traffic
Visit eDriving’s COVID-19 Resource Center for coronavirus-related news, guidance and resources.
*Pedestrian fatalities increase on Halloween, particularly among children, University of British Columbia