With children expected to be out en masse to scare and be treated tonight, drivers are warned to be on the lookout and children and parents urged to use caution while trick-or-treating.
The American Automobile Association says the evening of Oct. 31 is consistently one of the top three days for pedestrian injuries and fatalities, with children among the most injured. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says children are three to four times more likely to struck by a vehicle on Halloween than any other day of the year.
On its website, AAA lists many tips to improve safety, including drivers slowing down to at least 5 mph less than the speed limit; watching for children on walkways, medians and curbs; watching for children crossing the street — they may not be looking for traffic, and may cross mid-block or between parked cars; being extra careful when entering or leaving driveways; and turning on headlights to be more visible, even in daylight.
Parents are recommended to make sure adults or an older youth is with children 12 and younger; plan and talk about the route trick-or-treaters will use; teach children to only stop at well-lit houses and not to enter strangers’ houses; establish a time they must be home; tell the children not to eat candy until home; and review safety precautions including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.
Children out trick-or-treating are advised to:
• Carry flashlights and place them facedown in the bucket used to carry treats and never to shine it in drivers’ eyes;
• Stay on sidewalks and not to walk on streets if possible;
• Walk on the left side of the street facing traffic if necessary;
• Cross at corners and not between parked cars or mid-block; and
• Always look both ways before crossing a street.