Don’t Drive Like a Zombie – Watch for Trick-or-treaters

Drivers urged to stay alert on Halloween - one of the deadliest days of the year

BOISE – Halloween is one of the deadliest days of the year, with children twice as likely to be killed by a car on Halloween night as on any other night.  With more trick-or-treaters expected to participate this year, AAA reminds drivers and parents to exercise caution.

“A lot of people skipped trick-or-treating and Halloween parties last year due to the pandemic, so we can all use a little refresher on how to protect the large number of pedestrians and cyclists who may choose to be out and about this time,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “While everyone should have a safety mindset, the primary responsibility falls on drivers to stay engaged behind the wheel.”

Halloween Tips for Parents and Children

  • If your family chooses to participate in trick-or-treating, please accompany small children, and set a time limit for when older children will be back if they go on their own. Instruct kids to never enter a home or garage to retrieve candy.
  • Costumes should allow children to see, be seen, and move quickly if necessary. Consider using a face covering as part of your costume to help prevent the spread of illness.
  • Cross streets at the corner and avoid zig-zagging across the street as much as possible.

Advice for Drivers

  • Slow down, and if possible, avoid residential neighborhoods altogether.

“Our research shows that a pedestrian who is hit by a car traveling at 30 mph is twice as likely to be killed when compared to a car traveling at 25 mph,” Conde said.  “Halloween night is not a good time to be in a hurry – even slightly reduced speeds can make a big difference.”

  • Celebrate responsibly. As with other holidays, never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Use a designated driver or ride-hailing service like Uber or Lyft to safely reach your destination.
  • Be careful backing up. Your car could have a rear blind zone, and trick-or-treaters could dart behind your vehicle with little or no warning.  Don’t rely on back-up cameras alone – if you’re not sure, check around your vehicle before backing up.
  • Over time, heat and sunlight can cause headlight lenses to take on a yellowed, cloudy appearance that can block up to 80 percent of the available light. Consider purchasing an inexpensive lens polishing kit to dramatically improve your visibility for nighttime driving.

“If you want to maintain physical distancing, consider buying candy for your family and then taking a walk around the neighborhood to complete a scavenger hunt,” Conde said.  “But above all, stay safe and have fun.”