Guide to Halloween Pedestrian Safety 2019

Holidays such as Halloween come with an increased risk of traffic accidents. Drunk, distracted and reckless drivers endanger the lives of pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists. Whether you plan on driving on Halloween night or taking the kids trick-or-treating, learn a few safety tips for pedestrians. Your awareness of pedestrian safety this Halloween could save a life.

How to Stay Safe as a Pedestrian

Walking the streets on Halloween night can prove dangerous for you and the kids. Walk defensively to help protect yourself. Keep your attention on what you are doing and try to anticipate what drivers will do. Do not trust drivers to see you, stop or yield the right-of-way. Only cross in front of drivers after they have come to complete stops. Accompany your kids trick-or-treating or send them with a responsible adult who will abide by a few general safety rules.

• Stay on sidewalks. Avoid walking in the road or along the side of the road while trick-or-treating. You may not be visible to drivers.

• Cross safely. Wait for the cross signal at marked crosswalks and intersections. Avoid crossing the road anywhere other than crosswalks and intersections. Always look both ways before you cross, even if you have the right-of-way.

• Choose costumes wisely. Prevent trip-and-fall accidents by picking costumes that fit properly. Avoid using masks or wigs that obscure vision.

• Be visible. Incorporate bright colors into you or your kids’ costumes, if possible. Attach reflective strips to candy bags, costumes and shoes.

• Travel in groups. Groups of trick-or-treaters are more visible to drivers and less likely to become targets for criminals. Tell your kids to use the buddy system on Halloween.

Negligent drivers are the greatest threat to your safety as a pedestrian. Try to find a neighborhood near you that closes its roads off to traffic for trick-or-treaters. Alternatively, consider attending a trunk-or-treat event, which typically occur in closed-off parking lots, if you have small children or worry about Halloween pedestrian safety. Always be on the lookout for unsafe drivers while walking in Sacramento.

Safety Tips for Drivers

As a driver, one of your legal responsibilities is to prevent accidents. While the law does not expect you to prevent every collision, it does expect a reasonable degree of care behind the wheel. Your duties of care include obeying roadway laws, speed limits and traffic signals. They also include watching for pedestrians and yielding to them, when applicable. On Halloween night, pedestrian safety is especially important, as hundreds of trick-or-treaters will be walking the streets of Sacramento.

• Put your phone away. Texting and driving is one of the most common and most dangerous driver distractions.

• Watch for crossing pedestrians. Small children may not obey the rules of the road and may dart out in front of your vehicle. Always be on the lookout for crossing trick-or-treaters.

• Yield the right-of-way. Pedestrians have the right-of-way at intersections and crosswalks that do not have traffic control signals. They also have the right-of-way when you are making a turn.

• Slow down. Reducing your speed will give you more time to stop for pedestrians who cross your path. Drive especially slowly through neighborhoods and residential areas.

• Drive sober. Halloween is a common holiday for drunk driving accidents. Never get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. Arrange a sober ride before heading out.

As a driver, you may have the power to prevent a tragic pedestrian accident on Halloween. Pay attention to the road and keep a careful eye out for trick-or-treaters on Halloween night and the following weekend. Always obey the law to keep your actions predictable to pedestrians and other roadway users. If you have had any alcohol, do not drive. Call an Uber or ride with a designated sober driver. It is your responsibility to protect pedestrians by driving safely on Halloween.