Halloween shouldn't be a scary time on our roads, but historically it has been with an average of 270 people injured in 890 crashes on October 31 every year, according to ICBC data.
Halloween should be fun, and it can be if both drivers and pedestrians take extra precautions when on roads this weekend.
Here are some tips from ICBC to help make this Halloween the safest one yet.
Tips for drivers
- Stay well below the speed limit. This is essential in residential areas between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. when children are trick-or-treating. Driving slowly will give you more time to react.
- Do not pass a slow or stopped vehicle. Have patience on Halloween night. Many drivers will be driving slowly to watch out for trick-or-treaters. If a car is slowing down or stopped in front of you, don't try to pass the car. They may be stopping to let children cross the road, or stopping for something else you cannot see.
- Focus on the road. Leave your phone alone and concentrate on driving. Brightly decorated homes and interesting costumes can easily shift your attention off the road.
- Expect the unexpected. Be ready to yield to pedestrians and anticipate children darting across the street or walking in unusual places like driveways, parking lots and alleys. Some children may be extra excited and not realize a vehicle is approaching.
- Plan a safe ride home. If your Halloween celebrations involve alcohol, plan a safe ride home before you head out for the night. Arrange for a designated driver or use other options like a taxi, ride-share or transit to get home safely.
Tips for pedestrians
- Be bright to be seen. Encourage children to wear lighter-coloured costumes, add reflective tape to their outfit and treat bag, and equip them with a flashlight or headlamp to help them stand out in the dark.
- Follow the rules of the road. When trick-or-treating with your child, always walk on sidewalks and cross only at crosswalks. If there is no sidewalk, walk as far to the edge of the road as possible, facing traffic. For older children that are trick-or-treating with friends, review the rules of the road and remind them to work their way up one side of the street, instead of crossing back and forth.
- Be careful at intersections. Watch for drivers turning left or right through the crosswalk. Drivers may be focused on oncoming traffic and not see you.
- Make eye contact with drivers. It's hard to see pedestrians when visibility is poor in the fall. Never assume a driver has seen you.
- An average of 200 people are injured in 580 crashes on Halloween in the Lower Mainland.
- An average of 33 people are injured in 130 crashes on Halloween on Vancouver Island.
- An average of 28 people are injured in 120 crashes on Halloween in the Southern Interior.
- An average of 9 people are injured in 57 crashes Halloween in the North Central region.
*Crashes and injuries are from ICBC data (5-year average, 2016-2020) for the 24-hour period on October 31.