Every year, Halloween is different when it comes to the costumes and outfits that are considered "in" and "out." This year, zombies – or "walkers," as they're known on the AMC series "The Walking Dead" – are all the rage, while Elsa from the computer-generated animated feature film "Frozen" is yesterday's news.
But one thing that every Halloween has in common is candy – lots and lots of candy. And the only way kids can get their hands on their precious loot is by going from door to door.
That means there's sure to be plenty of kids combing the streets and there's a good chance it will coincide with rush hour, too. If you'll be behind the wheel at this time – or walking the streets with candy hunting kids of your own – our tips will help ensure you get to where you're going safely:
Take it slow
More than anything else, when you're driving in a residential area, drive slower than you normally would. On average, twice as many children are killed in pedestrian accidents on Halloween versus other times of the year, according to statistics from Safe Kids Worldwide. Going slowly will allow you to make course corrections more easily if taken by surprise.
Be extra vigilant
Halloween costumes, unfortunately, aren't always bright-colored, making it hard to see where pedestrians are walking. In fact, only 18 percent of parents use reflective tape for their children's costumes, Safe Kids Worldwide reported. At intersections, be extra cautious, looking to ensure that no one is crosswalks before proceeding. Also pay attention to the sides of the road.
Keep tabs on the time
Generally speaking, trick-or-treating takes place right at sunset or just before then. The most common window is between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Aim to be off the roads at this time if you can, but if you are driving, be extra attentive during this time slot.
Here's what to keep in mind if you'll be walking the streets…
Only cross at crosswalks
Crosswalks are there for a reason – to be used. Granted, drivers are always supposed to yield to passengers, but on nights when a lot of people are on the road, it's best to be predictable, meaning only crossing to the other side of the road at the prescribed spots.
Aim for visibility
Wherever you're going, you want to make sure that you can see, but also that others can see you. A flashlight, reflective tape, or vest all enhance visibility. Also, encourage your kids to wear bright-colored costumes.
Don't let your guard down at driveways
Once you reach a homeowner's driveway, make sure to watch out for vehicles that may be leaving, especially if they're backing up. Motorists aren't able to see as well in reverse, so be sure you stay on the grass or wait until they've left before approaching.
Safe Kids Worldwide has a few other Halloween safety suggestions for a safe, "spook"tacular evening.