It is that time of year again in the heart of the Halloween Capital of the world, when the little Ghouls and Goblins swarm the streets and run throughout their neighborhoods to join in the Halloween traditions of “trick-or-treating”, attending neighborhood parties, and walking in parades. To aid in the safety of these little travelers and avoid hazardous situations, make sure your yard is not a danger zone and use caution when driving in residential areas.
Halloween festivities are not confined to just neighborhood children. Most local taverns and night clubs have costume contests, pub crawls, and other events that draw large crowds. There are also many large haunted house attractions throughout the state that people will travel to. Some homeowners continue to have annual parties and decorate their yards with spooky décor as part of the tradition. Along with these adult activities, there is always potential for tragedy when alcohol is consumed. It is always wise to have a sober driver to ensure that there are no driving catastrophes caused by carelessness and poor decisions. More people are hit by cars each year due to inattentive and drunk driving.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the state reached 300 crash deaths in 2013. Seven people lost their lives and 27 others were seriously injured in drunk- driving crashes during Halloween party weekends in the last five years (2008-2012). “Impaired driving typically rears its ugly head during the Halloween party period, which creates a dangerous environment on our roads and highways,” says Jody Oscarson, DPS Office of Traffic Safety impaired driving program coordinator. “Before you put on your costume and head out for the night, make sure you have a plan in place for a sober way home to avoid the dangers and consequences of driving drunk.” DPS also emphasizes the importance of pedestrian safety on Halloween. Trick-or-treaters and parents should review basic rules. (News Release, Office of Communications, MN Department of Public Safety October 24, 2013)
Halloween Safety Tips
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
- Stay in well-lit areas if possible
- Carry a flashlight or glow stick, wear reflective clothing
- Stay on the sidewalk, and use crosswalks at intersections
- Don’t run through yards
- Set out in groups or with an adult
- Reduce your speed limit when going through residential areas
- Avoid using your cell phone (including hands free)
- Never pass another vehicle that has stopped in front of you (many people bring their children from home to home and make frequent stops)
- Anticipate larger groups of people in the streets and more congestion in residential areas
- Do not drink and drive
- Avoid fire hazards by using battery operated lighting, or LED lights inside your carved pumpkins, instead of candles
- Remove debris and other potential risks from your yard such as branches, stakes, posts; also, yard tools such as rakes, shovels, and other large items to prevent tripping
- Clear walkways and drive paths, have entries well lit
- Make sure decorations are secured and pose no threat to visitors
- Some addition homeowner insurance may come in handy if you have elaborate decorations, and are planning to entertain friends
From everyone one at Insurance Advisors, Happy Halloween!
Sources: MN Department of Public Safety