Q: Halloween can be a very fun holiday. It does bring increased risks for pedestrians and drivers. Distractions are high, more pedestrians are out, and drivers are hurrying home for trick-or-treating.
Halloween is the day with the nation’s highest number of child pedestrian deaths and one of the holidays with the highest number of DUI deaths.
Make sure you plan ahead and use extra caution to keep everyone safe.
I’ve compiled tips from the California Office of Traffic Safety, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Consumer Reports, and more.
A: First, tips for parents and trick-or-treaters:
Talk to your kids before they head out. Safety officials say most parents don’t discuss the dangers ahead of time, but doing so can keep trick-or-treaters safer.
Stay on well-lit streets. Avoid busy streets.
A mask may keep kids from seeing well, so make sure kids take them off before crossing the street. Use makeup instead, if possible.
Carry a flashlight.
Have a parent or older sibling go with the kids. If someone older cannot go, make sure kids trick-or-treat with a group.
Cross streets only at corners. Look both ways and pay full attention while you cross. Never cross between parked cars or mid-block. If there are no sidewalks, always walk facing traffic. Be extra alert around driveways.
Teach trick-or-treaters to stop only at well-lit houses. Never enter a stranger’s home or garage.
Establish a time for your children to return home, for kids old enough to trick-or-treat in a group without a parent.
Q: That’s just one part of making the day a safe one.
A: Here are tips for drivers on Halloween:
How to report broken or hidden highway signs, maintenance issues across Bay Area: Roadshow
Dumbarton Bridge eastbound closed overnight next week: Roadshow
San Jose encourages bicyclists to report the many obstacles in bike lanes: Roadshow
Year-long El Camino improvement project in Mountain View and Palo Alto scheduled for fall start: Roadshow
Apple Maps app is giving drivers dangerous wrong-way directions; how can it be fixed? Roadshow
Avoid driving through residential areas where trick-or-treaters may be present. Slow down.
Watch for children who may dart into the street. Yield to pedestrians. Be careful around driveways.
Pull over in safe places to let children out at the curb. Use hazard lights to alert other drivers that you are stopped.
When driving, make sure your headlights are on.
Park in a spot where you won’t need to back up. If you must back up, have an adult outside to make sure no children are in the way of your vehicle.
Don’t use a cell phone or other mobile device while driving. If you must check messages or texts, pull over and stop in a safe place while you do so.
If you will be drinking, designate a sober driver. If you are out and have had too much to drink, call a taxi, friend or family member to drive you home.
By being cautious and mindful of safety this Halloween, you can make sure the holiday is fun for all.