At Anderson Traylor Edwards, we know how much families are looking forward to Halloween. While the holiday might look a little different this year, there will still be plenty of people out and about. As such, you’ll need to drive safe whenever you are behind the wheel, keep pedestrian safety in mind, and even take precautions to reduce the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
We’ll give you safety tips for all of the above!
Safety Behind the Wheel
Even families who aren’t trick or treating may enjoy a costumed stroll around the neighborhood. When you drive in residential areas, slow down and watch for children. Be sure to obey all traffic signs and signals and drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself extra reaction time.
Remember that children in dark costumes may be more difficult to see and that children may be walking in places you don’t expect. Look for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs, and watch for children crossing the street – even mid-block or between parked cars. If you see a stopped car, do not pass it, as children may be getting into or out of the vehicle. Be extra careful when entering and exiting driveways and alleys, keep your headlights on at all times, and increase your scanning by looking into yards and front porches.
Safety for Trick or Treaters
For trick or treaters, safety starts with getting dressed. Choose a costume that fits you well and does not obscure your vision. Make sure all costumes, wigs, and accessories are fire-resistant, use nontoxic Halloween makeup, and consider adding reflective tape to your outfits. When walking at night, carry a flashlight and/or a glowstick and walk predictably.
Do not run and always walk on sidewalks if they are available. If you can’t find a sidewalk, walk facing traffic and stay as far away from cars as possible. To minimize crossing the street, walk all the way down the block, then walk up the other one. If you have to cross, try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them and watch for cars at all times. Cross in crosswalks whenever they are available or choose well-lit intersections where you can see traffic clearly.
Always supervise children under 12 while trick or treating. If your kids are going out alone, make a plan, have them stick to a well-known route, and encourage them to stay together in a group.
Halloween in 2020 comes with some unique challenges. Although the city of Hammond is still hosting trick or treating from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends taking precautions to make trick or treating safer or choosing lower-risk activities.
Lower risk activities include:
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with friends, outside and at a safe distance
- Decorating your living space
- Doing an outdoor Halloween scavenger hunt
- Admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
- Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
- Having a Halloween scary movie night with people you live with
Not only does staying at home help slow the spread of COVID-19, but it also eliminates your risk for pedestrian accidents.
If you do choose to go trick or treating, the CDC advises participating in “one-way trick-or-treating,” where you grab individually wrapped goodie bags at the end of your neighbor’s driveway.
Keep in mind that costume masks do not replace cloth face coverings. Avoiding masks this year may be the best choice, as costume masks over cloth masks can make it difficult to breathe.
We Are Always Here for You
No one knows exactly what Halloween will look like this year, but typically, children are 4 times more likely to be struck by a motor vehicle on Halloween. Even if you do everything right, a negligent driver could harm your family.
If anything like this happens, you can always call Anderson Traylor Edwards at (985) 244-3070 or contact us online for any legal assistance you may need.