Be Safe, Be Seen, and Beware this Halloween!

October 16, 2012

Photo: Jack-o-Lanterns

Halloween is a night full of treats for both kids and adults. But a number of factors -- including more people on the streets, earlier nightfall, and possible bad weather -- mean that Halloween night can also have some tricks up its sleeve. And the distraction of candy and costumes can make anyone, let alone kids, forget about safety. In fact, research shows that distractions can increase a child's chances of being struck by a car.

Don’t take any chances this Halloween. Be a PAL -- Predictable, Alert, and Lawful -- and check out these tips, compiled to help kids stay safe and to remind drivers to take extra precautions this Halloween:

Tips for Trick-or-Treaters/Parents and Children

Do a costume check. Can the child walk easily in the outfit? Make sure the masks or head gear allow children to see clearly what isPhoto: Trick-or-Treaters around them.

Think visibility. Wear bright colors, use reflective materials. Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and to help others see you.

Choose the safest routes to walk. Pick places where there are sidewalks or paths separated from traffic, if possible. Look for well-lit streets with slow traffic. Remind children to watch for cars turning into or pulling out of driveways.

Plan how to cross streets. Avoid crossing busy, high-speed, or multi-lane roads. Limit the number of street crossings. Give children exiting the street room to enter the sidewalk area.

Review crossing safety rules with children. Tell kids: Always look for cars yourself – even when adults are also looking. Stop at the curb and look left, right and left again for traffic and turning cars. Wait until no traffic is coming and begin crossing. Keep looking for traffic until you have finished crossing. When crossing the street at an intersection, obey traffic signs and signals and double-check to see if cars are coming.

Walk, don’t run, across the street.  Same goes when kids are covering the distance from house to house.  

Choose homes that welcome Halloween visitors. Look for lights on, well-lit driveways, and walkways or paths to the front door.

Reminders for MotoristPhoto: Trick or Treaters

Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on early in the afternoon so you can spot children from greater distances.

Drive slowly through residential streets and areas where you might expect to see pedestrians trick-or-treating.

Watch for children in dark clothing. Remember that costumes can limit children’s visibility and that they may not be able to see your vehicle.

Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.

Watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs.

Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.

Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

A Reminder for Everyone

Don’t eat all of your Halloween candy in one night!

For walking safety and other healthy living tips on Halloween and all year long, visit WalkArlington.com or check us out on Facebook!

Trick or Treat!


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