According to NHTSA, the most dangerous time nationwide for children ages 5 to 14 on Halloween night is between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. Children in elementary school are at the greatest risk. Children in this age group:
* Have a field of vision one-third narrower than an adult.
* Are often unable to determine the direction of sounds.
* Cannot accurately judge the speed or distance of moving vehicles.
* Are easily distracted and tend to focus on one thing at a time like a ball or a friend.
* Are easily hidden by parked cars, bushes, leaf piles, trash bins, etc.
"Drivers need to be extremely cautious during this time period," says Adams. "The season's shortened daylight hours and reduced visibility create a dangerous combination while children are out trick-or treating. Everyone needs to slow down, use extra caution and follow common-sense safety tips."
KSP offers the following Halloween safety tips for trick-or-treaters:
* Don't assume the right of way when crossing a street. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean they all will.
* Be very cautious of strangers. A stranger is someone you don't know who behaves in an inappropriate way. Adults asking children for help can be potentially dangerous.
* Trick-or-treaters should only visit houses that have porch lights turned on.
* Never enter a stranger's house or vehicle. (Parents should stress "vehicle" because some children might think it is OK to approach a van or bus.)
* Stay on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the farthest edge of the roadway facing traffic.
* Never cut across yards or use alleys. By crossing a lawn, you might be tripped by clotheslines or lawn furniture.
* Don't run! Always walk when crossing streets or going from house to house.
* Cross streets only at corners and crosswalks. Never cross the street from between parked cars.
* Remove mask or any item restricting eyesight before crossing streets.
* Don't take shortcuts through back alleys or parking lots.
* Cover one side of the street at a time, no crisscrossing.
* Look "left, right, left again" for cars before stepping off the curb to cross a street.
* Don't play near jack-o-lanterns, the candle inside could start a fire.
* Stay with the adult who is leading the group.
* Keep away from open flames or burning candles.
* Try on your costume before Halloween night to make sure it fits properly.
* Stay away from and don't pet animals you don't know.
* Don't eat any treats until you get home.
* Have an adult check all candy before eating it.
* Stay focused on your surroundings. If you feel threatened, go to the nearest store or restaurant and ask to use the phone. Call parents or the police.