VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Halloween is a day that elicits thoughts of costumes and candy, not necessarily crashes on the roads.
But collisions actually spike today.
“On average, we see about 620 crashes on Halloween in the Lower Mainland, injuring 240 people,” says Joanna Linsangan with ICBC.
“On Halloween, drivers also need to be prepared for a whole lot more pedestrians. We look at visibility being compromised, slick roads happening today, and more pedestrian activity — we do see a 25 per cent increase in crashes.”
There were 330 injuries from 920 crashes on Halloween across BC from 2011 to 2015, according to ICBC.
From weather to more foot traffic, Linsangan says it’s a combination of factors that contribute to the spike in collisions.
“For Halloween night, we have the darkness, we have the slippery roads, and we have an increase in foot traffic. All of those things can spell a very challenging time for drivers. So come tonight, drivers should be extra aware on the roads.”
That means coming to a full stop at stop signs and being aware that kids can pop out from between parked cars at any time — so, don’t roll past slow or stopped vehicles.
As a driver, pay extra attention all day but especially during a specific window:
“Peak trick-or-treating time today is actually from 5 to 9 o’clock. The best thing that you can do as a driver is really drive well below the speed limit and that’s especially true in residential areas,” says Linsangan.
She points out that means some kids will be out trick or treating while rush hour is still underway.
“Drivers do need to treat Halloween differently. It’s not your typical commute home. There’s going to be a lot more people out at night than you’re used to. We’ve got parents, we’ve got teens, young children, all of whom are going to be very distracted and not very visible.”
When it comes to pedestrians, Linsangan says you can protect kids by making sure their costumes are well-fitting and bright, including some kind of light, watch for drunk drivers and always minimize the number of times they need to cross the street.
That means going up one side of a street and down the other rather than trick-or-treating in a criss-cross pattern.