Halloween means children getting outdoors to enjoy treats, fun, and games. It also signals a change back to Standard Time with shorter days and longer nights. With shorter days comes more night driving. Because nighttime driving is more dangerous, it requires extra attention from motorists, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nearly half of all fatal pedestrian crashes and almost one-third of fatal bicycle crashes occur in low-light or dark conditions. According to a National Safe Kids study, children riding bicycles in low light (nighttime, dusk, or dawn) are four times more likely to be injured than while riding in daylight conditions.
Your Ellis County Extension agent, Danae Hicks, reminds you of the following safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to keep in mind during Halloween and all year long.
Tips for Motorists
- Slow down. Watch for children walking on roads, medians, and curbs. Enter and exit driveways carefully.
- Be especially alert for children darting out from between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs. They’re excited – and they are not paying attention.
- Never drink and drive – tonight or any night. If you are partying, designate a driver.
Tips for Parents
- Adults should accompany children at all times and supervise their “trick or treat” activities.
- Teach children to “stop, look left-right-left, and listen” before they cross the street.
- Use a flashlight and wear retro-reflective strips or patches on your clothing or costume to be more visible to motorists.
- Be certain that the mask does not obstruct vision or hearing.
- Ensure that costumes do not impede walking or driving ability.
Tips for Pedestrians (children and adults)
- Before crossing a street, stop at the curb or edge of the road and look left, right and left again to be sure no cars are coming. Continue to check for traffic while on the street.
- Walk – never run – from house to house or across the road.
- Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks.
- When crossing at an intersection with a traffic light, be sure to watch for turning cars. Obey all pedestrian signals.
- Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.
By taking some extra time to make sure drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists obey the rules, Halloween can be a safe time for all.
For more information, contact the Ellis County Texas A&M Extension Service Office at 972-825-5175 or visit the office at 701 S Interstate 35E, Waxahachie, TX 75165.