Halloween is great fun, but it’s also the perfect recipe for disaster: a combination of eager trick-or-treaters, awkward costumes, heavy drinking partiers and dark nights make this one of the most dangerous holidays of the year. These tips will help you and your kids have a safer celebration.
Whether you or your kids are wearing off-the-rack outfits or hand-crafted cosplay, there are some steps you can take to make costumes safer:
– Avoid dark colors. Black may be the color of choice for everyone from Dracula to Kylo Ren, but it also makes the costume hard to see on dark streets. Add reflective materials to costumes and trick-or-treat bags to make the wearer more visible at night.
– Masks can obscure vision, making it hard to watch for traffic. Instead, opt for makeup and face paints to complete the look.
– Make sure the costume doesn’t drag on the ground. Trimming a couple inches off of a cape can keep it from snagging or tripping the wearer.
– Accessories including swords, axes and knifes need to be flexible, so they won’t hurt during a fall. Skip the plastic props and look for ones made from foam.
Everyone has heard about poison candy and razor blades inside apples, but the reality is that tainted Halloween candy is extremely rare. Only a handful of cases have been confirmed, with most stories being hoaxes. What is real is the danger of walking the streets at night in search of candy. Taking these steps can mitigate the risk:
– Put together a group led by an adult. This way you always know where your kids are, and they can help out if someone gets injured.
– Have a planned route in an area your kids are familiar with, so they won’t get lost.
– Remind kids to walk. Young kids can get a little too excited, and that can lead them to falling or running out in front of traffic.
– Phones are handy if someone gets lost, but they should be kept in pockets unless needed. They’re just one more distraction when walking through the neighborhood.
– Always cross at intersections, and make sure you make eye contact with drivers before crossing.
For kids, Halloween is all about the candy. For most adults, it’s a chance to put on a silly costume and drink with friends. While that may be fun, the resulting accidents aren’t. 38% of accidents on Halloween involved a driver with a BAC over 0.08%, the legal limit for a DWI. That rate increases to 44% on Halloween weekend. 52% of all deaths on Halloween involve a drunk driving crash, and 23% of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween involve a drunk driver. It’s also one of the worst days of the year for pedestrian fatalities.
The easiest way to stay safe is to have a designated driver. The people in your party don’t have to wait for a cab, and if you’re the DD, you can get into many events free. Want to make the process simpler? Wisconsin DOT’s “Drive Sober” app makes it easy to pick a DD and find public transportation to make it home.
In a handful of states including Wisconsin, AAA and Budweiser’s “Tow to Go” program offers free rides and tows to impaired drivers on Halloween until 6 a.m. the following morning. They’ll tow your vehicle home, or to a safe location within 10 miles of where you’re stopped. This program is offered to everyone, even if you aren’t a AAA member.
When to Look Out for Partiers and Trick-Or-Treaters
Halloween is on a Thursday this year, which spreads the celebration out to two weekends. Look at any community calendar, and you’ll see most events are planned for the preceding weekend, and a few are on the following weekend. This means you should be on the lookout for trick-or-treaters and partiers from the 25th to the 2nd, and be especially vigilant at the start of the week. Peak trick-or-treating occurs between 5:30 and 9:30pm, while accidents peak between 6 and 7 pm.
Have an Accident? Go to Merton Auto Body.
Merton Auto Body has served Lake Country for over 70 years, offering our customers fast, top quality collision repair. We’re an I-CAR Gold Class certified shop, and we’re also a direct repair shop for most major insurance companies. We even have an on-staff appraiser who can deal with the insurance paperwork, so you can get your car back faster. Our shop is in Sussex, just a short drive from Pewaukee, Hartland, Lisbon and North Lake.