CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Halloween is now just three days away, but a lot of cities and towns have trick-or-treating scheduled for over the weekend.
What should be a night of costumes and candy, though, poses some unique holiday safety concerns. Both trick-or-treaters and drivers play an important role in making it a safe night.
Halloween is one of the deadliest days of the year for pedestrians. People expressed to 22News that you should always be prepared with flashlights, and reflective clothing, and always make sure to stick together if you’re out with your family trick-or-treating.
“I just keep them close and stay close to them, and just watch out for their surroundings and where you’re walking. Stuff like that, you know,” said Thomas Lacy of Springfield.
In 2008 and in 2017 two young boys ages 11 and 9 died after being hit by a vehicle while trick-or-treating in Western Massachusetts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that Halloween is one of the top three days for pedestrian injuries and fatalities, and children are four times more likely to be struck by a motor vehicle on Halloween than any other day of the year.
Michelle Wozniak of Chicopee told 22News, “It’s not like Halloween just started. You’re driving, you gotta be prepared for kids running across the street. You just have to be more persistent and more visual.”
AAA encourages trick-or-treaters to cross streets using traffic signals and crosswalks. And, they encourage drivers to avoid cutting through residential streets and reduce their speed where trick-or-treaters are more likely to be present.
When it comes to Halloween safety is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. People said they go trick-or-treating with groups, or use the buddy system, wear bright or reflective colors to be visible, and look both ways before crossing the street to avoid cars or motorcyclists.
“We are all together when we go. We make sure all of the kids, plus us, have the glow-in-the-dark bracelets. We stick together and we just make sure of the headcount and stay out of the road,” explained Wozniak.
Lacy added, “You just gotta be careful with what you’re doing and watch out where you’re going. Just watch out for your surroundings all of the time.”
Parents should try to incorporate some sort of light or reflective material into this year’s costume or add a flashlight to the candy bag before their kids head out. As experts encourage trick-or-treaters to be bright at night, bring a flashlight, and stick together!