10 Important Halloween Trick or Treat Safety Tips from AskPatty
For 364 days each year, we teach our children not to take candy from strangers. But on Halloween, collecting candy from strangers is the number one goal. While most parents are careful to inspect the sweet hoard for signs of malevolent tampering, many public servants and safety organizations agree that it’s more important to make safe lighting the primary concern on Halloween night.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, children are more than twice as likely to be killed by a car while trick-or-treating on Halloween night than at any other time of the year. To raise awareness of pedestrian safety year-round, Safe Kids coalitions across the country have been teaming up since 2000 with Walk This Way program sponsor FedEx to bring national and local attention to pedestrian safety issues. As Halloween approaches, the organizations also ramp up their efforts at exciting and educational events held at schools, community locations and zoos across the country to provide kids with reflective materials to promote visibility, including reflective trick-or-treat bags and zipper tags that can be attached to costumes.
Just as many homes turn on porch lights to signal they are passing out Halloween candy, drivers can do their part to provide light on a dark night. One of Safe Kids’ top Halloween safety tips is to make sure children can see and be seen. There are several ways to do this and SYLVANIA Automotive Lighting wants to educate pedestrians and drivers that visibility is imperative to a safe Halloween night. For drivers, this means considering the status of their headlights. Premium headlights can provide more downroad and sideroad visibility – allowing for more time to react to pedestrians and road hazards.
• Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light-colored clothing. Have kids use glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
• If you’re driving, be especially alert for kids from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., the popular trick-or-treating hours. Pay careful attention in residential neighborhoods, drive more slowly, and anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic on and near the road
• Upgrade to whiter, brighter premium headlights. Whiter, brighter bulbs -- like Sylvania SilverStar® ULTRA headlights -- can help drivers identify and react sooner to road hazards like debris, animals, disabled vehicles or even pedestrians, which are of especially high volume on Halloween night. Ensuring you have bright white headlights will help you spot children from greater distances, but be sure you take extra time to actively look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
• Change headlight bulbs before burnout. Bulbs dim quicker than you think, drastically reducing visibility so you see less of what’s in front of you, so it’s important to upgrade before burnout. Always change headlight bulbs in pairs. Changing one at a time can cause an uneven field of vision that can be distracting to both the driver as well as oncoming traffic.
• Are your headlights showing their age? Over time, harsh UV rays, chemicals, and environmental pollutants take a toll on vehicles equipped with plastic headlight lenses, resulting in hazy, cloudy, and unattractive headlamps, as well as unsafe lighting during nighttime driving. You can easily restore your headlights to “like-new” condition using a pre-packaged headlight restoration kit for about $25, whereas replacing the entire assembly can cost upwards of $300.
As for your little trick or treaters, be sure they remember the following Halloween trick or treating safety advice:
• Be sure to cross streets at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks look left, right and left again when crossing; always walk, don't run, when crossing streets.
• Make eye contact with drivers and watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
• Walk on sidewalks or paths; if there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
• Never dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars.
• And we wish it could go without saying: make sure they NEVER accept rides from strangers.
Happy Halloween from the Ghouls at AskPatty.com!