Halloween Safety: Simple steps to help ensure a safe and happy Halloween
As we march toward the end of October, the days are getting shorter, the nights a little colder, and the weather a little wetter. Welcome to fall in the great Pacific Northwest!
Throughout the month, kids of all ages have been thinking about, and planning for, Halloween. Many of us have already decided on costumes and are now working on those final details to make this the best Halloween-candy-haul ever! It’s easy to argue that we all need a break from the challenges of the last 18 months, and what could be better than spending the evening pretending to be someone (or something) else, filling Halloween bags with candy, and reveling in the world of make-believe?
While Halloween has the potential to offer a break from reality, it also provides an opportunity for real-life tragedy. Data collected from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from 1975 to 2016 show a pedestrian was 43% more likely to be involved in a fatal crash on Halloween than on any other night. Children between four and eight years old were ten times more likely to be involved in a fatal pedestrian crash on Halloween. (Staples JA, Yip C, Redelmeier DA. Pedestrian Fatalities Associated with Halloween in the United States. JAMA Pediatr. 2019; 173(1)). While the total number of fatalities are relatively low, considering the millions of children out trick-or-treating, it’s doubtful the families of those involved would argue it’s insignificant.
To prevent a tragedy like that from happening here, the Beaverton Police Department would like to remind Halloween drivers to be extra cautious.
- Please slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods; children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
- Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians, and on curbs. Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully. Minimize the number of distractions – especially your phone – so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
- Be especially alert for kids during popular trick-or-treating hours.
Pedestrians, too, have a responsibility to keep themselves safe.
- They should cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right, and back to the left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
- Put electronic devices down, keep heads up, and walk – don’t run – across the street.
- Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
- Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as close to the curb, or road edge, as possible.
- Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
- Never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
The choice of Halloween costume, and accessories, can also make a valuable difference.
- Use reflective tape or stickers on your costume and candy bag.
- Choose face paint and makeup, instead of masks, so as not to obstruct vision.
- Carry glowsticks or flashlights to help see and be seen by drivers.
- When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size and fit to prevent trips and falls.
Traffic safety is important to all of us at the Beaverton Police Department. We encourage you and your family to use these simple steps to help ensure a safe and happy Halloween.
For more safety tips, visit www.beavertonpolice.org