Halloween is a great holiday. Especially if you’re a kid. Costumes and candy – what’s not to love? It’s fun for everyone involved and there are some great events that happen in the community. But the most popular is the tradition of trick-or-treating. I went door-to-door asking people for candy as a kid, and I loved it. I wish I could do it as an adult, but that’s beside the point…

But sadly, on average, twice as many children are killed in pedestrian accidents on Halloween compared to other days of the year. Children are out in force on the streets, sometimes dressed in dark clothes, wearing costumes that makes it awkward to see and move. And all of this typically happens after dark, when visibility can be the worst.

There are plenty of safety guideline lists for parents out there. If you’re a parent out and about on Halloween night trick-or-treating, be sure you’re prepared for the night with flashlights, reflective clothing, and a definite plan.

But what about motorists on the road on Halloween night? While children are out dressed as goblins, ghouls, and Justin Biebers, you might be on the road coming home from work, going out to a party, or just running errands. As a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, I know that there are a lot of accidents every year that could have been avoided by following a few simple guidelines. Here are a list of 5 things that motorists should do to make sure they’re keeping themselves and the children of Las Vegas safe on Halloween night.

  1. Be aware of the Situation It’s not difficult to see that Halloween is different than any other day of the year. How many times do you see President Obama, Luke Skywalker, and Elmo walking down the street together? It’s a different kind of day for motorists, too. You shouldn’t treat driving on Halloween like you do any other night of the year.
  2. Slow Down! Treat every road like a residential street. And treat residential streets like school zones during recess. Imagine that there are children everywhere, because there probably are.
  3. Think Like a Kid For many of us, this won’t be difficult. We need to remember that, on Halloween, children are excited about candy and costumes and may not be remembering about the “look both ways” rule.
  4. Treat Roads like One Big Crosswalk The house that gives out the best candy is always on the other side of the road. It’s the “grass is greener” principle. Children may not want to wait until they get to a crosswalk to get to the other side, because the candy might be gone by then!
  5. Reduce Distractions This means cell phones, directions to the party, people in the car… anything that could get in the way of you being able to drive. Tip: if you’re driving to a party in your costume, change into your costume (especially those clown shoes) when you get to your destination for best control of your vehicle.

It’s an exciting time of year. Parties, costumes and candy make Halloween a special time. Make sure you get through it with the spirit (pun intended) of the night, but in a safe way.