Halloween on Saturday Increases Security Risks
Halloween is an exciting time of year for many young people, but it also holds its share of hidden dangers. AAA reminds parents and caregivers to take extra precautions if their children will be trick-or-treating on neighborhood streets, which is 96% of families according to a recent AAA Consumer Pulse survey.
According to this same survey, 75% of parents are no more concerned about their children’s safety because Halloween falls on a Saturday, despite the fact that statistics show fatal injuries from motor vehicle crashes rise nearly 50% when Halloween falls on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday.
“A safe Halloween means seeing and being seen,” said Nick Jarmusz, director of public affairs for AAA Wisconsin. “Excited children may break the safety rules they usually follow and need to be reminded that safety is a responsibility we all share.”
To help make this a safer Halloween, AAA recommends motorists
- Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
- Slow down and be especially alert in residential areas. Children may unexpectedly dart out in the street or from between parked cars.
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. In dark costumes, they will be harder to see at night
- Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible – even in the daylight
- Drive sober. Nearly 40 percent of fatal crashes on Halloween night involve a drunk driver. Always designate a sober driver if you plan to drink.
Tips for Parents:
- Parents are encouraged to walk children door to door while trick-or-treating, showing children safe places to cross the street.
- Ensure an adult or older, responsible youth is available to supervise children under age 12
- Buckle up. If driving trick-or-treaters between neighborhoods, always use appropriate car seats and have children exit and enter on the passenger side of the vehicle.
- Bring a flashlight to help trick-or-treaters see and be seen.
- Pick a costume that is safe for your child to move in and see out of. Buy costumes and wigs labeled “flame resistant.”
Tips for Trick-or-Treaters:
- Cross the street and corners using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look both ways between crossing and keep an eye on the road while you are crossing
- Wear light colored clothing or costumes with reflective material or tape for the best visibility. Consider using nontoxic face paint instead of masks to avoid obstructing vision.
- Stay in familiar neighborhoods. Only visit homes that have the porch light on and never go into a stranger’s house.
- Always have an adult check your treats before you eat. Discard anything that looks like it has been unwrapped or tampered with.
Parents can pick up free reflective trick-or-treat bags for their kids at any AAA Wisconsin branch office.