Take it slow in residential areas
Halloween is a time for late-night parties, and that means the number of drunk drivers increases, causing a threat to other drivers and most importantly, pedestrians. With trick-or-treaters scurrying through neighborhoods, driving below the speed limit is imperative. Studies show that pedestrians are more likely to be hit by drivers traveling 35 mph than those traveling 25 mph.
Sobering fact: Alcohol-impaired drivers on Halloween make up about one-third of all motor vehicle deaths resulting in one death every 45 minutes.
Keep your lights on even if it’s still daylight
Since younger trick-or-treaters may start out before dark, turn your lights on right before dusk and leave them on. Parents should be particularly aware of the type of colors they or their children will be wearing. The brighter and more reflective the costume, the safer you are as a pedestrian. Traveling in groups is also a great rule of thumb. A flashlight brings another layer of protection quickly alerting a driver that you are in the area.
Be careful when passing stopped vehicles
Little witches, ghosts, and goblins often cross driveways moving from yard-to-yard on their journey to gather sweets and treats. Be mindful of vehicles backing out since there are children whose heads may not clear trunk heights. Using hazard lights when stopped may also be helpful. Some of the things we may take for granted could be just the thing that could save a life.
Make sure the costume is a good fit
Costumes too large or too long could cause a child to trip and fall. Masks, glasses, hoods, and other costume accessories can impair vision causing a variety of safety concerns.
Don’t get distracted
Trick-or-treating can begin as early as 5:00 p.m. This means if you’re leaving work, being stuck in rush hour traffic is a possibility. Drivers anxious to make it home for upcoming festivities may find themselves texting, talking, eating, gazing at their GPS or even experiencing road rage—all recipes for disaster on the road. Arriving at your destination safely should always be the end goal.
Accompany children under 12
Children under the age of 12 are most likely to be unfocused. The excitement of being with friends, and the reward awaiting them at each stop can make them over-zealous. Since candy can amp up even the calmest child, limiting the amount of sugary substances before they begin trick-or-treating can reduce hyperactivity. Enforcing the walk-don’t-run rule, staying on sidewalks, and using well-lit streets are reasonable precautionary measures, as well as having a talk with your children about the necessity of staying together and holding hands throughout the evening.
If older children are going out alone
Agree to the route they will be taking prior to the night and talk about the rules they must follow, including crossing at safe places, looking both ways and listening for traffic. Unlike younger, supervised children, pre-teens might choose to use this night as an opportunity to explore their freedom and independence to their detriment. A directive to check-in with their cell phones periodically may prove to be useful. This could also be good time to put phone tracking systems to good use. Make sure emergency contacts have been added to their cell phones and include information on allergies and physical and mental health concerns. It never hurts to get a few neighbors in the community to work in conjunction with your efforts.
Beware of pets
Halloween can also be an anxious time for pets. They can easily become frightened and anxious with so many strangers, new noises and all the excitement of trick-or-treaters. The results could include impulsive running off or aggressive behavior that can endanger them or trick-or-treaters. Also, costumes for furry friends might be better for stay-at-home photo ops.
St. James Episcopal Church
9845 McCree Road, Dallas, TX 75238 (North Dallas)
The 25th Annual Pumpkin Patch is a joint venture between St. James and Southwest based farmers. Enjoy a picturesque backdrop and be sure pick out your favorite from a variety of pumpkins in every size. Proceeds from the pumpkin sales fund the St. James Student Ministries. Please hit the link for more details.
Now through Monday, October 31st, 7:00p – 11:00p
Drive Thru Trick-or-Treating
American Airlines Center (Silver Parking Garage)
2500 Victory Ave., Dallas, TX 75219
Drive Boo Halloween, presented by iHeart Radio, a contactless family-friendly Halloween event. Enjoy a spooky good time from the comfort of your own car, featuring circus thrills, Halloween icons, and fun treats. Follow the link for more information.
Thursday, October 27th – October 29th, 8:30p – 9:30p
2100 Flora St., Dallas, TX 75201
In the Conservatory with a Knife, loosely inspired by the board game “Clue”–this Halloween weekend you are cordially invited to a consuming murder mystery. A room-by-room, clue gathering experience as you watch the story unfold. Imagined by Bombshell Dance Project, it’s a production that will challenge your psyche. Admission $29.50, tap the link for tickets and additional information.
Friday, October 28th, 4:00p – 7:00p
3rd Annual Trick-or-Treat event
Main Street Garden
1902 Main St., Dallas, TX 75201
Full City Block – including Main, Commerce & Elm Street
Trick or Treat on Downtown Streets Everyone is invited to the 3rd Annual Trick-or-Treat event (adults, kids and pets). A map will be provided of participating businesses starting at Main Street Garden. Local retailers will create a fun Halloween station to hand out tricks and treats. Hit the link for more info.
Friday, October 28th, 6:30p – 9:30p
Dallas Bites and Sights Tours
4925 Greenville Ave., Suite 255, Dallas, TX 75206
The Haunted Lights & Frights Tour The Spooky side of Dallas will be on display when you go along on this eerie adventure. Discover some of the city’s scariest places including cemeteries, hotels, some with the rep of being haunted! Costumes encouraged. Click the link for admission prices and other details.
Saturday, October 29th, 10:00p
Dot’s Hop House
2645 Commerce St., Dallas, TX 75226
Dallas Zombie Crawl – Halloween Pub Crawl Over 500 guests are expected to roam the streets of Deep Ellum (in costume), stopping in and out of bars and nightclubs with one all-access pass. Map of participating venues will be available. Hit the link for more details.
Sunday, October 30th, 5:00p – 10:00p
Trick-or-Treat in the Park
Farmers Branch Historical Park
2540 Farmers Branch Ln., Dallas, TX 75234
Farmers Branch Halloween in the Park Marvel at the park’s transformation into a Halloween spectacle with plenty of family-friendly activities including a Haunted Hedge, Booville, Cash Midway Games, bounce houses, stage entertainment, food trucks and much more. Please visit the link for detailed information on admission and Boo passes.
Whether you’ll be out and about in your neighborhood or checking out festivities around the metroplex, no matter how cautious you are, the frightening statistics don’t lie. Halloween night is one of the most dangerous times to be on the road. Do your part by buckling up for safety and looking out for pedestrians but remember, If you’re in a car or truck wreck anywhere in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metro area, the Law Offices of Houston M. Smith, P.C. is always available, 24/7 call 945-HOU-STON (945-468-7866).