Halloween is consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous days to be on the road.
Year after year, Halloween night poses an increased risk of road-related incidents, because it involves increased pedestrian traffic, poor visibility conditions and many distractions.
With little ghosts, goblins and witches taking to the streets at night to fill their bags full of treats, all road users need to be extra vigilant.
We have analyzed our own auto claims data, to determine what days are most frequent for collisions. Not surprisingly, Halloween was found to be one of those days.
In 2017 and 2018 Halloween ranked among the top three days for Aviva Canada auto claims made in October. In 2018 specifically, there were 76 more claims made nationally on Halloween than on the average October day.
With Halloween just around the corner here are some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Safety tips for trick or treaters.
Below are some tips to keep your little costumed crusaders safe as they travel through neighbourhood streets.
- Instead of a mask, use face paint. This helps keep peripheral vision intact, making it easier to see what is happening around you.
- Make sure costumes fit appropriately and there are no tripping hazards or risks.
- Use reflective tape to add more visibility to costumes. Remember to add it to bicycles, skateboards and/or broomsticks too.
- Remind children to use the sidewalks, marked crossings, and avoid playing on or near roads.
- Remind your children about the importance of crossing at corners with marked pedestrian crossings and as always to look both ways and make sure the coast is clear.
- Tell children to visit houses on one side of the street first, then cross over to the other side and visit those houses.
- Use a flashlight, this not only helps avoid trips and falls but also helps drivers and other see you more clearly.
- Children should travel in groups of at least four or five to ensure their own safety. Younger children should trick or treat with adult supervision.
- Tell your children to only visit homes with porch lights on. This ensures that someone is home and that the way to the door is well lit.
- Set boundaries and travel routes with your children. Let them know the importance of sticking to them and arriving home at the agreed upon time.
- If not travelling with your children provide them with a cell phone, if you can. This enables them to alert you to route changes or potential safety issues.
Another great way to keep your children safe during trick or treating activities is to engage your local government and have your street closed down for the night. Many communities execute this idea and allow their children and families to take to the streets in their neighbourhood for safe trick or treating with no vehicle traffic to worry about. Haddington Avenue in Toronto is famous for closing down to vehicle traffic on Halloween night to keep the street safe for those celebrating.
Safety tips for drivers.
The responsibility to keep our roads safe is not just on pedestrians. Drivers have a responsibility as well, every day, but especially on Halloween to make sure that those around them on the roads are safe.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you stay safe and keep those around you safe as well. We compiled this list of tips from the previously mentioned sources as well as Consumer Reports, the American National Safety Council and Carfax:
- Even if it is not completely dark, use your full head lighting system. This helps by increasing visibility of your vehicle from further away.
- Always use your signals. This helps those around you, including pedestrians, know which direction you are headed and helps everyone stay safe.
- Reduce your speed when possible. If you are driving on a road lined with houses, treat it like a school zone. Reduce your speed and stay vigilant.
- Pay special attention when exiting driveways and alleyways make sure to look for children who may be walking through your path. Where possible reverse in to parking spaces and driveways so you have better visibility when driving out of your space.
- Use extra precaution when going through intersections and look out for children who may be crossing the street, even at unmarked crossings.
- Avoid all distractions. This is always true when driving but especially true on Halloween when many young children are using the streets.
- Use caution when approaching vehicles stopped on the street. They may be dropping children of for trick or treating.