Time again to dust off those spooky decorations, carve a Jack o’ Lantern or two, and watch classic fright movies with old favorites Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, and Lon Chaney, Jr. Halloween offers lots of opportunities for fun no matter what your age, but seeing the excitement of kids dressing up in costume and going door-to-door for free treats may be the best part. The holiday can quickly turn scary, though, if you don’t keep a few safety tricks up your sleeve.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that Halloween is one of the two most deadly days of the year for pedestrians (the other is January 1). Close to 20 pedestrians are killed annually on October 31, almost double the number of fatalities on an average day. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, kids are twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed while walking on Halloween than on any other night of the year.
To help keep your witches and monsters safe, there are some basic safety tips they should follow when trick-or-treating:
- Never cross the street in the middle of a block. Go to the corner and use crosswalks or traffic signals.
- Look left, right, and left again before crossing. Walk, don’t run.
- Pay attention to traffic – that means putting phones away and making eye contact with drivers before crossing to be sure they see you.
- Walk on sidewalks or paths. If there aren’t any, walk facing traffic as far to the side as possible.
- Look out for vehicles that are turning or backing up.
If you are driving on Halloween, remember that typically quiet neighborhoods may experience an increase in pedestrian activity. Kids may move in unpredictable ways due to their excitement, so drive slowly in residential areas. While there is never a good time to drive while distracted or intoxicated, Halloween is a particularly bad occasion. Imagine how you will feel if you injure or kill a child while behind the wheel simply because you sent a text or had a few drinks. It’s just not worth it. Also, be careful passing stopped vehicles — they may be dropping off children who aren’t paying attention. If you are chauffeuring the trick-or-treaters, turn on your hazard lights when you’re stopped, use appropriate car/booster seats, and make sure the kids exit and enter on the passenger side, away from traffic.
You can improve your child’s ability to see and be seen by using face paint instead of masks, putting reflective tape on their costume, and giving them glow sticks or flashlights. Go door-to-door with your children to maximize safety. If you don’t accompany your child, know their planned route. One tech trick that may be useful in staying connected is Family Locator by Life360 (for iOS and Android). This free app allows you to see your kid’s location on a map and receive alerts if your child goes beyond virtual boundaries that you set.
Everyone at the Mann Law Firm wishes our community and Georgians everywhere a safe and enchanting Halloween. While we hope that the holiday passes without incident, we are here if you need us. If you have any questions about this topic, you can find out more by discussing it with one of our attorneys. We have over 50 years of experience helping people, and we can help you. Based in Macon, we proudly serve communities throughout Georgia. Contact us by calling (478) 742-3381 or by filling out our online form.