They will be coming out tonight and through the weekend.
Tiny little ghosts, goblins, Spider-Men, Captain Marvels and maybe even a Joker or two will be taking to the streets in search of Halloween treats.
That means all of us — the ones who are driving our cars and trucks — must slow down and be on the lookout for any little lions, tigers or bears who may step ever so close to our lane of travel.
Tonight is the traditional trick-or-treat night, but because of the weather forecast, several municipalities across the region have rescheduled to Friday and Saturday nights.
One of the biggest safety tips for drivers is to simply slow down. The American Automobile Association (AAA) recommends that drivers travel at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit on any street to give drivers and pedestrians more time to react if necessary.
AAA also recommends that drivers:
n Watch carefully for children walking on roads, medians and curbs, and remember that some kids may be in dark costumes, which could be more difficult to see at night.
n Look for children crossing the street. They may have some other things on their minds.
n Carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys.
n Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible, even during daylight.
n Broaden your scanning by looking for children left and right, into yards and near front porches.
In their online safety blog, Automile also recommends that drivers turn down the radio — it’s more important to hear what is going on around you than the music.
Other Halloween driver safety tips from Automile include:
n Don’t be distracted. Put away and don’t use your cell phone or reach for anything until you are safely stopped.
n Don’t pass other cars stopped on the street. Those other vehicles could be picking up or dropping off children and kids may be running toward or away from those vehicles.
n Communicate with other drivers. Use your hazard lights when pulling over to drop off or pick up children to alert other drivers and always use your turn signals.
n Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Arrange for a designated driver if you are celebrating the holiday.
n Alert law enforcement if you see a drunk or unsafe driver on the road. Don’t try to get their attention or follow them. If you can get a license number, report that to police when you call. Alerting law enforcement to dangerous drivers could save a life.
Today’s holiday is all about fun and laughter, but as The Washington Post reports, Halloween is the deadliest day of the year for child pedestrians.
If there is anything each of us should remember as we get behind the wheel this holiday weekend, it may be these additional statistics from the Washington Post’s reporting: Children are three times more likely to be fatally injured by a car during the Halloween season and the risk grows to 10 times for children ages 4 to 8.
Let’s all slow down, stay alert and have a safe Halloween season.
NOTE: Opinions expressed in The Daily Item’s editorials are the consensus of the publisher and top newsroom executives. Today’s was written by Digital Editor Dave Hilliard.