In a few short days, streets in cities across Colorado will find their streets flooded with costumed children seeking treats from their friends and neighbors. Halloween can be “spooktacularly” fun for children and adults alike, as it provides an opportunity to walk their neighborhoods, meet with friends, and consume tasty snacks and candy.
To make your Halloween celebrations as safe as possible, keep these ten safety tips in mind:
1. Stay on Sidewalks and Pathways
Whether you are walking to a party or trick-or-treating with your children, you should remain on sidewalks and use clearly marked sidewalks wherever possible. Walking in the street or suddenly crossing the street can catch a motorist off-guard, increasing the risk of a pedestrian accident.
2. Wear Clearly Visible Clothing
Halloween’s atmosphere is dark, but try to choose costumes or wear clothing that can be easily seen if you are heading out on foot. If your or your child’s costume consists of dark colors, wear one or more light-reflective bands or a reflective vest while on the street.
As an alternative, you can carry a flashlight with you. The goal is to make yourself and your child as easily visible to motorists as possible.
3. Avoid Costumes that Obscure Your Vision
Masks and hoods may give your costume an eerie look, but they can also pose dangers for you. If you or your child is trick-or-treating, consider removing the mask while walking near a street. You can always put the mask back on when you reach the door to trick-or-treat.
Removing your mask gives you the best opportunity to look out for traffic and other hazards while you are walking. This can be crucial on dark streets or while crossing poorly-lit intersections.
4. Do Not Drink and Drive
Halloween parties can get wild, especially if alcohol is being served. While this may make for a good time at the party, driving while drunk on Halloween is a recipe for disaster.
Plan ahead and have a designated driver available. If this is not possible, ask the host to call you a cab when it is time to go home. Just make sure not to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.
5. Drive Slowly, Especially After Dark
Not only should you not drive while intoxicated, but you should also give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination if you go out after dark.
Expect there to be children and adults walking in or near the streets, especially in residential neighborhoods. Anticipate that a child or adult may dart out into the street in front of you with little warning. Doing so can increase the likelihood of avoiding a collision with a pedestrian or another motorist.
6. Be Careful Around Dark Walkways
When approaching a home on foot, carry a flashlight to illuminate dark pathways. If you do not have a flashlight, try to avoid walkways and driveways that are not clearly illuminated. Such walkways could obscure trip or slip hazards that might lead to a fall. If you cannot avoid a dark or poorly lit walkway, then proceed with extra caution.
Some falls can lead to broken bones or serious head and back injuries.
7. Avoid Distractions While Walking and Behind the Wheel
No matter whether you are walking, trick-or-treating, or driving on the roads this Halloween, put the distractions away until you reach your destination. This includes cell phones, other mobile devices, and music devices. If you are walking, avoid using earbuds or headphones.
You will want your eyes and ears to pay attention to your surroundings to avoid a car or pedestrian crash. By watching for pedestrians instead of checking your phone, you may give yourself an extra second or two to stop if someone suddenly enters the roadway.
Pedestrians who are focused on the road and traffic can hear whether a car is nearby, helping them know when it is safe to cross the street.
8. Have a Cell Phone Handy in Case of an Emergency
If you are struck by a car or involved in any other type of injury accident, you may need to summon emergency medical assistance for immediate help. Having a cell phone available that is charged up can ensure you can call for an ambulance or other first responders in the event of an emergency.
Having a cell phone on hand may not only help you or your child, but it could mean the difference for someone else who is hurt in your presence as well.
9. Have a Plan for the Evening
Both adults and children can benefit from having a plan for the evening. Creating and communicating a plan helps others know where to look for you if problems arise or if there is an emergency.
For children, the plan should cover where they are allowed to trick-or-treat, who will be going with them in their group, and who will be in charge. It should also cover when they are expected to return, any houses they are not to trick-or-treat at, and what they should do in case of an emergency.
Adults who are going out for the night should know where they are going and when they intend to be home. If you are leaving your children in the care of a babysitter, make sure the babysitter knows where you will be and how they can reach you if needed. Always have a plan for how to get safely home if you plan to consume alcohol.
10. Try to Be Home Early
The later you begin your Halloween celebrations, the greater the risk of an accident or injury. According to the National Safety Council, the peak time for car accidents during October is between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. This is followed by the 8 p.m. to 12 midnight time frame.
So if you plan to begin your Halloween activities in the afternoon or evening, make sure to use extra caution.
Stay Safe, and Have a Happy Halloween
From our team at the Law Office of Stuart Mann, we wish you and your family a safe and happy Halloween. And if you or a loved one does suffer harm while out walking in Colorado this Halloween, remember that you can count on our accident attorneys to provide you with knowledgeable advice and compassionate assistance.
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