RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — While candy will be on the minds of trick-or-treaters Wednesday night, parents likely have another top priority: safety.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that Halloween is consistently one of the top three days for pedestrian injuries and deaths.
AAA Mid-Atlantic offered specific tips for trick-or-treaters, as well as parents, drivers, and party goers on how to have a safe Halloween.
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.
Carry a flashlight containing fresh batteries, and place it face down in the treats bucket to free up one hand. Never shine flashlights into the eyes of oncoming drivers.
Make sure Halloween costumes are flame-retardant and light in color to improve visibility.
Be bright at night – wear retro-reflective tape on costumes and on trick-or-treat buckets.
Wear disguises that don’t obstruct vision, and avoid facemasks. 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.
Ask an adult or older child to supervise children under age 12.
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.
Review trick-or-treating safety precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.
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.
Look for children crossing the street. They may not be paying attention to traffic and may cross mid-block or between parked cars.
Carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys.
Turn your headlights on to make yourself more visible – even in the daylight.
Broaden your scanning by looking for children left and right into yards and on front porches.
Arrange a safe ride home and/or designate a driver before partaking in any alcohol-related festivities.
Always designate a sober driver.
If you are drunk, take a taxi, call a sober friend/family member, use ride share or public transportation.
Before leaving for a party, put numbers of local cab companies and your designated driver(s) into your phone.
Walking impaired can be as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.
If you know someone who is about to drive or ride impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to where they are going.