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Safety tips for drivers and trick-or-treaters on Halloween night

Halloween is one of the most fun times of the year for kids, but it can also be one of the most dangerous.

According to the National Safety Council, kids are at least twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year. This is due to the number of trick-or-treaters out at night running house to house and sometimes darting across the road.

Parents and drivers can reduce the chances of this happening with a few simple safety tips.

Drivers: Remember there will be a large number of children walking near roads on Halloween night. Many of them will be wearing dark-colored costumes and masks.

When heading out, leave earlier than usual and drive more slowly, especially in places where trick-or-treaters frequent.

At intersections and stop signs, always assume children crossing the road cannot see you. Let them cross first and make sure they see you before you proceed. But go slowly: Children might dart across at the last second.

Also, look for trick-or-treaters at places you would not expect them to cross, such as in turn lanes or medians.

And it might be best to keep inexperienced drivers off the road on Halloween night.

Parents should always accompany younger trick-or-treaters. Carry a flashlight and attach reflective tape to costumes or bags to increase visibility on dark roads.

When crossing streets, pedestrians should stop and check for vehicles. If there is a car at the intersection or coming to the intersection, always make sure it comes to a complete stop, then look at the driver to make sure they see you — and possibly acknowledge you — before crossing.

And everyone, adults and children, should put their cellphones in their pockets instead of looking at them when out at night, especially when crossing roads.

The key for drivers, trick-or-treaters, and parents is to drive or walk like the other person doesn’t see you or isn’t paying attention. There’s no reason why one of the most fun nights of the year can’t also be one of the safest.

editor@thepicayune.com