While costumed children are trick-or-treating on Halloween, their risk of being injured by motorists is significantly greater than on other nights. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that children are four times more likely to be struck by a motor vehicle on Halloween than any other day of the year.
"Children, their parents and motorists are Sharing the Road on Halloween. It's a time of excitement, distractions, costumes and candy. These inherent aspects of the holiday create 'a perfect storm' for pedestrian safety issues," comments John F. Ciaffone, TransOptions President. "We're encouraging everyone who's out and about to be extra alert for each other on Halloween," he adds.
TransOptions is urging motorists, parents and children to incorporate safety tips while sharing the road on Halloween:
- SLOW DOWN in residential neighborhoods in case you need to react to children who may be darting into the street.
- Be extra careful entering and exiting driveways and alleys.
- Turn on your headlights to be more visible, even in daylight.
- Remember to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. It's the law in New Jersey.
- Don't be a distracted driver by talking on the phone or eating while behind the steering wheel.
- Plan a trick-or-treating route with the fewest street crossings.
- Stay alert and watch for cars, especially ones that are turning or backing up.
- Carry a flash light to increase being seen and extend your visibility of the road.
- Wear reflective clothing so that motorists can see you.
- Make certain that your child’s costume allows them to see and walk safely.
- Wear reflective or bright clothing to be seen at a greater distance.
- Consider using face paint or makeup instead of wearing a mask so that your visibility is not obstructed.
- Carry a reflective trick-or-treat bucket or add reflective tape to help you be seen by motorists.
- Place a flashlight face down in your trick-or-treat bucket to free up one hand and add illumination to your path.
- Walk on the sidewalk, not in the street. If there are no sidewalks, walk FACING traffic as far to the left as possible.
- Cross streets at the corners using traffic signals and crosswalks.
- Look left, right and left again for traffic before crossing the street.
- Don't jaywalk. It's against the law in New Jersey and is dangerous, especially on Halloween.
- Trick-or-treat in a group if possible.
Contact TransOptions at (973) 267-7600 to schedule a free Pedestrian Safety program for your group or office or plan a Safe Routes to School Walking School Bus for your community.