As dusk falls on the last day of National Pedestrian Safety Month, many will celebrate Halloween by taking their ghouls and goblins door to door to trick or treat; however, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) wants to remind everyone, Halloween is historically one of the deadliest nights for pedestrians.
On Halloween last year, 2,590 crashes on Florida roadways resulted in 137 serious bodily injuries and 21 fatalities. Most of these crashes occurred at or around 7 p.m. – when many families with children were out celebrating. These numbers significantly increase from the previous year and almost a 25 percent increase in crashes with fatalities.
FLHSMV strongly encourages parents, caregivers, and motorists to take additional precautions in safeguarding children. Follow these tips to avoid a scare, or worse, this Halloween:
- Pay attention and reduce distractions; remember, distracted driving is anything that takes your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road, or your mind off driving.
- Slow down, stay alert, and use caution. Costumes may impair a child’s ability to see and hear approaching cars, preventing them from quickly moving out of the roadway.
- Watch for children walking in the street, especially with no sidewalks. On Halloween, there will likely be more pedestrians on the roads and in places where they are not expected. Slower speeds save lives.
- Enter and exit driveways slowly, and always check behind your vehicle before backing up.
- Look for trick-or-treaters who may suddenly dart into traffic between parked cars or shrubbery.
Parents and Trick-or-Treaters:
- Be safe, be seen! Carry a flashlight, wear bright clothing, and put reflective tape on costumes and goody bags.
- Use sidewalks or crosswalks whenever possible. If sidewalks are unavailable, walk facing traffic as close to the curb as possible.
- Remind children to never run out into the street or cross between parked cars.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t wear headphones or text while walking.
- Children should not trick-or-treat unsupervised. Walk with your trick-or-treaters and hold the hands of young children. Review pedestrian safety with teens if they trick-or-treat without supervision.
For more Halloween safety tips, visit Halloween Safety – Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (flhsmv.gov)