While most parents carefully inspect the pounds of tempting loot brought home each Halloween, it’s important to keep in mind that candy tampering isn’t the biggest concern kids face on this increasingly popular holiday – it’s motor vehicles.
Safe driving is important any time of the year, but motorists should be especially alert and exercise extreme caution on Halloween. In the excitement of the holiday, children often forget the rules and may dart out in front of a car unexpectedly or forget to cross the street at crosswalks. In addition, their dark clothing can also make them more difficult to see.
Travel at a Safe Speed
Driving on Halloween night can be very distracting so remember to stay alert and keep your eyes on the road. Back out of driveways very slowly and move out of any side streets and alleyways carefully. Use extra caution when traveling in busy neighborhoods and travel at a reduced speed. Watch for trick-or-treaters and be prepared to stop.
Oversee the Outing
If your children will be going trick-or-treating this year, make sure that an adult or older responsible youth will be supervising the outing. Adults and children should carry flashlights and use reflective strips so that you are more visible to motorists. Always walk on the sidewalks and stay in well lit neighborhoods. Never allow children to walk in the streets or in alleyways.
Talk to children beforehand about safety, reminding them to cross the street at crosswalks and corners and to never cross between parked cars. Avoid cutting across yards or driveways and only approach well lit houses.
Clear the Outdoor Clutter
It’s also important to get your home and yard prepared before the trick-or-treaters make their way to your house. Start by removing items from the steps and walkways that could be tripped over, such as toys, hoses, flower pots or bicycles. Sweep wet leaves from the sidewalk, porch and steps to prevent slips and falls.
If your town has trick-or-treating hours at night, be sure to brighten the way by turning on all outside lights. If you don’t regularly use your porch and outdoor lights, check them the week before to make sure they are working properly. Keep your pets inside and properly restrain them to ensure their safety and the safety of trick-or-treaters when you open your front door.
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