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The simple act of slowing down on neighborhood roads will not only make Halloween more enjoyable for everyone, but it could also save lives.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Halloween is one of the most dangerous nights of the year because of the high number of drunk drivers and people walking after dark. But, inattentive parents also put trick-or-treaters at risk when they drive around the neighbor following their kids on foot. While excited trick-or-treaters may forget the rules of the road, motorists must be vigilant.

  • Stay well below the posted speed limit.
  • Slow down and watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
  • Yield to pedestrians. Don’t assume trick-or-treaters see you. Children might not stop because they don’t see your vehicle approaching.
  • Don’t pass stopped vehicles. The driver might be dropping off children.
  • Watch for children walking on roadways, curbs, and in parking lots.
  • Watch for children in dark clothing.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly.
  • Turn on your headlights, even if it’s still daylight so trick-or-treaters can see you.
  • Avoid distractions such as texting and talking on the phone.
  • Don’t drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

And, for parents and trick-or-treaters:

  • Stay on sidewalks.
  • Safely cross streets. Look both ways and cross only at corners and crosswalks.
  • If there are no sidewalks in your neighborhood, walk facing traffic as far to the left of the road as possible.
  • Don’t assume that your group of trick-or-treaters has the right-of-way in a crosswalk. While one driver may stop for you, the next might not see your group in time.
  • Carry flashlights and glow sticks.
  • Wear bright, reflective clothing or use reflective tape or stickers on costumes.
  • Young children should be accompanied by an adult; older kids should be in groups and able to reach parents at all times.
  • Use makeup, rather than masks, for a clear, unobstructed view of your surroundings.

Once your trick-or-treaters have safely navigated the streets, safety doesn’t stop.

  • Kids should not eat any “goodies” until they have been inspected carefully.
  • Do not eat candy that has been unwrapped or opened.
  • Never eat homemade items, fruit or other unwrapped items.
  • Most importantly, when in doubt, throw it out.

Fear ghosts and goblins this Halloween, not a serious accident or injury.

Mark Bello is the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company.

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