Don’t let Halloween turn into a nightmare: Here are safety tips for trick-or-treaters, drivers

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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. 

Trick-or-Treaters:

  • 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.

Parents:

  • 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.

Drivers:

  • 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.

 Party Goers:

  • 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.

RELATED: Halloween can be deadly for pedestrians, traffic study says

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