When trick-or-treaters take to the streets on Halloween, they are four times more likely to be struck by a vehicle than on any other night of the year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Besides being excited about their prospects for candy, trick-or-treaters often forget about their own safety, and some have bulky, or even ill-fitting costumes that can obscure their field of vision, while drivers may be distracted, impaired or just not paying attention.

Safety tips for drivers

Drivers need to be extra alert on Halloween and take precautions, including:

  • Drive at least 5 mph under the speed limit to give yourself time to react to a child running into the street
  • Look for children who aren’t paying attention and cross the street mid-block or from between parked cars
  • Watch for children in dark costumes walking on curbs and along medians and roadways
  • Extend your field of vision to include yards and porches
  • Proceed cautiously when entering alleys or driveways
  • Even if it’s still light out, turn your headlights on

Precautions for parents and trick-or-treaters

Parents should make sure an adult, or a responsible older child, accompanies any trick-or-treaters under age 12, and both parents and kids should follow other safety tips:

  • Plan and follow a route in a well-established or familiar area
  • Instruct kids to stop only at well-lit houses and never enter a person’s home or garage
  • Establish a curfew
  • Buy or make costumes that fit properly and have bright colors or include reflective material
  • Avoid facemasks which can obscure a child’s view, use face paint instead
  • Stay on sidewalks and avoid walking along roadways
  • Look both ways for traffic when crossing the street at designated crosswalks

Keep Halloween a festive event

Halloween is one of the most eagerly anticipated nights of the year for children. Taking steps to protect their well-being from distracted or drunk drivers is vital to keeping your kids safe. If you are injured by a negligent driver, an experienced personal injury attorney here in North Carolina can help you hold the responsible party or parties accountable.