Pedestrian-involved accidents are 4.5 times the normal levels on Halloween night, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatality Analysis Reporting System. However, the number of fatalities can be decreased if proper safety precautions are taken.
The American Automobile Association is trying to raise the bar for children-pedestrian safety. The AAA has come up with tips to enhance the safety of both children and their parents or guardians who accompany them while trick-or-treating.
The AAA recommends parents accompany their young children. Parents should also review trick-or-treating safety precautions and plan the route ahead of time. Examples for safety precautions include stopping at the end of driveways, check for incoming cars, and not crossing in the middle of the street or between parked cars.
Choose costumes that will not obstruct vision, and look for non-toxic face-paint instead of masks. Check and adjust the length of costumes to avoid tripping, and add reflective material or tape to keep children visible. Also, children should be carrying a flashlight to help them see and be seen.
Last, wear seat belts. If driving trick-or-treaters between neighborhoods, use appropriate car safety gear and have children exit and enter on the passenger side of the vehicle.
“Never go in an unknown home, stay within well-lighted areas, and never get disconnected with your group of friends,” said Linda Marts, situational awareness and earthquake and disaster preparedness instructor. “Avoid rowdy individuals; if they are causing trouble, walk away and make sure the people you are with are safe.”
There are other opportunities to stay safe on Halloween, such as attending a Harvest Festival or Trunk-or-Treat at a local church.
“My parents were not a big fan of the whole Halloween trick-or-treating, but instead took me to my church where they had different games and fun activities for the children. For example, they would have a cake walk and several carnival games,” said Sharon Marts, freshman marketing major.
The styles of safety can vary. Nevertheless, safety is a key role for all those who will be going out trick-or-treating this Halloween. Learning to be safe does not matter if it comes from a major insurance company or from parents. Safety is the main concern for everyone during the holidays. Do not become another statistic; we safe and be alert.