Fiol Law Group|Posted in Safety on October 17, 2019
It is that time of year again – the leaves are changing, and kids are eagerly planning their Halloween costumes. While decorating your house and buying candy for trick-or-treaters, however, do not neglect one of the most important tasks this time of year: preparing your family for a safe Halloween. Unfortunately, the scares some families get on Halloween are real, such as a child darting into traffic or a serious trip-and-fall accident. A few simple nighttime safety tips could keep you out of the hospital this Halloween.
Light the Night
Halloween may be all about dark, shadowy corners and night frights, but that does not mean you should expose yourself to fall hazards. If you take the kids trick-or-treating, bring a flashlight or equip the children with glowsticks for better nighttime visibility. Light the sidewalks and roads where you are walking to avoid obstacles you might trip over. You could also invest in headlamps if kids do not want to carry flashlights.
Pick an Eye-Catching Costume
One of the greatest Halloween threats at night is the darkness of the streets while pedestrians are walking around. Drivers may not see a crossing pedestrian until it is too late. A great way to improve trick-or-treater safety is with smart costume planning. Purchase or make a costume that has bright, visible colors such as neon yellow or orange. Attach reflective strips to the costume and/or the child’s treat bag. Reflective shoes can also increase visibility on dark streets.
Avoid Trip-and-Fall Accidents
Nighttime is not just a risk in terms of traffic accidents; inadequate lighting can also make it difficult to see where you are walking. A fall could cause serious injuries such as muscle tears, dislocations, cuts and scrapes, broken bones, or a concussion. Reduce your risk of a fall accident by tailoring costumes so they do not hang below you or your child’s feet. Use flat, nonslip shoes that are comfortable for a lot of walking. Avoid using masks with costumes, as they can impede vision, or at least tell kids to lift their masks while they are walking. Stick to well-lighted areas with streetlights to help you see where you are going.
Follow Pedestrian Traffic Laws
The odds of a driver striking a pedestrian increase when the sun goes down. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that most pedestrian accident deaths occur in urban areas at night. In addition, 48% of fatal pedestrian accidents involve alcohol impairment. You are more likely to encounter drunk drivers on Halloween at night, after afternoon or evening holiday parties end. One of the best ways to protect yourself from a vehicle collision while trick-or-treating or walking on Halloween is to follow traffic laws.
Following the rules can make you more visible and predictable to drivers. Drivers will expect you to be on the sidewalk, for example, not walking alongside the road. They will also anticipate seeing pedestrians cross at crosswalks or intersections, not at nonintersection locations. Fulfilling their expectations by obeying the laws can help lower your risk of a driver not seeing you or failing to yield you the right-of-way.
Driving? Use Extra Caution
If you will be driving on Halloween night, know the odds of encountering pedestrians will be much higher than on a typical night in Tampa. Every year, thousands of kids and their guardians hit the streets to hunt for treats on Halloween. Use extra caution when driving near and on this holiday, especially in residential locations.
Pay strict attention to the road, never engaging in any driver distractions. Do not drive if you feel distracted or drowsy or if you have been drinking alcohol. Keep in mind, some people may be wearing dark costumes and jaywalking on Halloween. Drive slower than usual and prepare to hit the brakes at a moment’s notice. Trick-or-treating children are liable to dart out into traffic without warning. It is your responsibility as much as a pedestrian’s to use nighttime safety tips.