Tips for Drivers and Parents
Be aware of peak traffic time: Check trick-or-treat times in your city or neighborhood and be prepared to be patient for an extended commute if you driving. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during that time.
Discourage teens from driving on Halloween. Distractions can be tricky for new drivers who are still getting their bearings behind the wheel. Consider the increased foot traffic, attraction of decorations, and unexpected hazards, and ask your teen to forgo the car for the night. There's plenty to enjoy while walking!
Be careful when dropping off or picking up kids: If you need to pull over to drop off or pick up your kids, pull off to a safe spot and turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers. Similarly, when you see a car stopped, be careful when you pass as children may be exiting or getting into the car.
Take responsibility: Most importantly, DO NOT assume children can see you. They are excited and may not be paying attention. It's your job as a driver to be aware of them and ensure their safety.
Ensure kids are seen: Purchase inexpensive glow necklaces, bracelets or costume props (such as wands) that contain glow-sticks. Let kids select their favorite color to easily identify each child when it gets dark. Flashlights are fine to help kids see where they are going, but make sure they know not to shine it on cars, as it may temporarily blind the drivers and keep them from seeing the kids.
Partner with neighbors: This is a great time to get to know your neighbors if you don’t already! Partner with others on your street to discuss setting up ‘go slow’ traffic signs or orange cones for the big night. Some neighborhoods also agree on an official ‘lights out’ schedule so door-bell ringing ends at the same time.
Watch the wee ones: If you have first time trick-or-treaters, remember that they are much smaller than those a few years older. In the fun hustle and bustle of crowds, it’s easy for the little ones to be bumped and knocked over. Try pulling them in a wagon for safety. Kids can have fun decorating it or making it themed with their costume!
Consider trick-or-treat alternatives: Nervous about taking kids door to door? Consider fun alternatives to the traditional trick-or-treat. For example, some schools, civic groups or neighborhoods now hold ‘trunk-or-treats’ in which kids can grab candy from the trunks of decorated (or non-decorated) cars. Bonus – these events are often scheduled earlier than typical trick-or-treat hours so there’s more daylight for kids to show off their costumes! Don’t have a trunk-or-treat in your area? Why not get it started?