Nationally, children are nearly twice as likely to get hit by a car on Halloween, compared to other days of the year, so it’s important that kids (and their parents) stay very visible. Being visible as pedestrians or bikers is a good idea not only on Halloween but throughout the fall and winter months.
Fewer hours of daylight affects safety. Collisions involving pedestrians become more frequent and more severe during our darkest months—November, December, and January. The clock is turned back on Sunday, so that means longer nights. The sun will start setting before 5 o’clock next week and it will be dark during the busiest hours of our commutes.
Here are SDOT’s Top Five Safety Tips for Halloween and beyond:
1. Be visible. Take extra measures to ensure you can be seen when you walk and bike on our streets. Wear light-colored clothing and/or reflective gear so drivers can spot you.
2. Make good decisions when you walk, bike, or drive. Don’t drive distracted (anything from talking on your cell phone to adjusting your costume) and make sure you have a safe way to get home if you plan to drink.
3. Take it slow on our streets. Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. With speed, the frequency and severity of collisions increases.
4. Follow the rules. Drivers should know that every intersection is a legal crosswalk – whether there are pavement markings or not – so drivers should almost always stop for pedestrians. Pedestrians should cross the street at intersections or crosswalks where drivers expect to see you.
5. Always be alert on our streets. A crosswalk is not a suitable location to check your phone and it’s not a good idea to listen to music while bike commuting. Take an active role in safety by keeping your eyes and ears on the road.
Remember that we’re all in this together and we all just want to get to get to the Halloween candy safely.