Trick or Treat activities on Halloween can become a tragic if families and drivers aren’t alert. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are almost triple the number of fatalities that day.
Despite safety awareness campaigns those statistics aren’t decreasing.
"We have noticed a trend recently where older children are trick-or-treating for longer periods as well," says AAA Hoosier Motorclub Spokesman Greg Seiter.
Communities can implement special traffic-safety measures. Motorists should slow down and be aware of surroundings, and families and friends are encouraged to travel in groups.
AAA Hoosier Motor Club has the following Halloween Safety tips:
- Slow down in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals. Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself extra time to react to children who may dart into the street.
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. In dark costumes, they'll be harder to see at night.
- Look for children crossing the street. They may not be paying attention to traffic and cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
- Carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys.
- Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible - even in the daylight.
- Broaden your scanning by looking for children, left and right, in yards and on front porches.
- Ensure an adult or older, responsible youth is available to supervise children under age 12.
- Plan and discuss the route your trick-or-treaters will follow.
- Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along established routes.
- Teach children to stop only at well-lit houses and to never enter a stranger's home or garage.
- Establish a time for children to return home.
- Tell children not to eat any treats until they get home.
- Review trick-or-treating safety precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.
- Make sure Halloween costumes are flame-retardant and visible with retro-reflective material.
- Be bright at night - wear retro-reflective tape on costumes and treat buckets to improve visibility to motorists and others.
- Wear disguises that don't obstruct vision, and avoid face masks. Instead, use nontoxic face paint. Also, watch the length of billowy costumes to help avoid tripping.
- Ensure any props are flexible and blunt-tipped to avoid injury from tripping or horseplay.
- Carry a flashlight containing fresh batteries, and place it face down in the treat bucket to free up one hand. Never shine it into the eyes of oncoming drivers.
- Stay on sidewalks and avoid walking in streets if possible.
- If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
- Look both ways and listen for traffic before crossing the street.
- Cross streets only at the corner, and never cross between parked vehicles or mid-block.
- Trick-or-treat in a group if someone older cannot go with you.
- Tell your parents where you are going.