Pedestrian accidents may bring a family and a community’s Halloween revelry to an abrupt halt. To celebrate Halloween, children throughout Nevada and across the U.S. take to the streets, costumed as their favorite characters and frights. They walk house to house, getting candy and treats from their neighbors. According to the National Security Council, however, the risk of cars fatally hitting children is more than two-times greater this night than on any other throughout the year.

Why Do Pedestrian Accidents Increase on Halloween?

Numerous factors contribute to the added risk for pedestrian-involved collisions on Halloween. Some of the added danger arises from the added number of children and people on the streets on October 31st. Halloween festivities, including trick-or-treating, parties, and community festivals, often begin around dusk, and drivers may struggle to see children and others dressed up in dark-colored costumes in the twilight and evening hours. Masks or other costuming pieces may also impair children’s and adults’ vision, making it difficult or impossible for them to see cars or other hazards while they are out walking.

Additionally, in excitement or due to alcohol impairment, some trick-or-treaters and partygoers may not take normal street crossing precautions. Should drivers fail to see them and take appropriate evasive action, it may result in serious or fatal collisions.

How Can Trick-or-Treaters Stay Safe?

Trick-or-treaters may take certain precautions to help reduce their risk of involvement in pedestrian accidents on Halloween. Some of the steps they may take include the following:

  • Purchase costumes with or add retro-reflective tape to costumes and treat buckets
  • Carry a flashlight or glow stick
  • Walk on the sidewalk or facing traffic if in a neighborhood without sidewalks
  • Go with an adult or a group
  • Check costumes for vision obstructions or tripping hazards before going out
  • Look in both directions and listen for cars before crossing the street

For their part, parents should supervise younger children, discuss the route they plan to take with older trick-or-treaters, and review and follow the traffic safety rules while out celebrating.

What Can Drivers Do to Avoid Halloween Tragedies?

Remaining extra vigilant while driving on Halloween may help motorists avoid pedestrian accidents. To this end, they may slow down in residential areas, so they have time to react to children who might dart unexpectedly into the street. Further, drivers may broaden their scanning area, checking for pedestrians in yards and on porches, medians, and curbs.