Halloween Safety Tips for Tennesseans

Jay Stillman

3 min read

Don’t Be Foolish When You’re Ghoulish!

Halloween has morphed from being mostly a kids’ holiday into a young adult party time. Drunken driving is a real danger on Halloween for both drivers and pedestrians. Stillman and Friedland are offering you traffic and safety tips for the upcoming holiday to keep you safe, including reminders regarding costume safety. This year Halloween (October 31st) falls on a Wednesday night.

The NHTSA offers these sobering statistics:

  • “The 21- to 34-year-old age group accounted for the most fatalities (46%) in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween night in 2016.”
  • “Children out trick-or-treating, and those accompanying them, are also at risk, as 14% of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night (2012-2016) involved drunk drivers.”

Our top tip is to be aware that drunk driving rates spike on Halloween and act accordingly! Take these simple steps and help keep you and your kids out of harm’s way:

  • Avoid driving late at night.
  • Accompany your elementary school kids (under 12) if they go trick-or-treating. Make sure they cross roads properly, obeying traffic signals and always crossing at corners and crosswalks.
  • Always look both ways before crossing! Stop, look, and listen are still the best policy.
  • Trick-or-treating in a rural area without sidewalks? Walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.
  • Junior high and high school kids should have a curfew time; it’s a school night.
  • Go over the dangers of drunk driving. Remind your kids that they never have to take a ride with someone who may be drinking. Make yourself available to pick up your kids if they get in a tight spot.
  • Remember that crash rates increase drastically for teenage drivers the more passengers there are in the car. A car packed with kids makes for distracted driving. Teen distracted driving is dangerous even when there is no alcohol in the mix.
  • For yourself, drive slowly and cautiously in residential areas to avoid striking kids who may run out in the street unexpectedly. Peak times for trick-or-treating are 5:30-9:30 p.m.

The good news is that the THP (Tennessee Highway Patrol) again will be out in force on Halloween night. As pedestrian fatality rates have continued to increase in recent years, the THP has responded by being extra-vigilant and being out in larger numbers on Halloween. If you are driving erratically under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the THP will be looking for you—as they do every day of the year. THP arrested nearly 7,000 DUI drivers in 2016.

Dressing up? Costumes should be safe and practical. Safety means several things:

  • Materials should be safe and not flammable. Many cute costumes available on the internet may not be made according to safety standards, so keep that in mind and shop wisely.
  • Masks: What can we say? We don’t like them. They are uncomfortable and drastically reduce the wearer’s field of vision, especially rigid masks. Opt for face painting instead, choosing safe hypo-allergenic make-up. Obviously, never drive in a mask.
  • Spooky black costumes are fun, but not visible at night. Add glow sticks and reflectors to all costumes to enhance safety. Glow-in-the-dark accessories are another fun costume enhancement. Flashlights that are lightweight are another great idea. Just make sure the batteries are fresh.

If you yourself plan on going out for Halloween, keep in mind these safety tips. Plan ahead and have a designated driver you can rely on.

We hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!

Because we care…