ICBC's Halloween safety tips for drivers, parents and caregivers

October 27, 2022

Halloween safety 572 x 286

Halloween is a fun and eventful day for many British Columbians of all ages. It can be dangerous too if parents, caregivers, children and drivers don't take certain precautions. Last year, there were 640 crashes resulting in 240 injuries on Halloween in B.C.*

With celebrations taking place throughout the weekend and into Monday, here are some tips to help keep everyone safe during Halloween this year:

Tips for drivers​​

  • Watch your speed. Obey the speed limit at all times. In some areas on Halloween night, you may even find yourself driving below the posted speed limit. Managing your speed is essential in residential areas where children will be out trick-or-treating on Monday evening. Driving at a manageable speed will give you more time to stop in case a child runs across the street unexpectedly. Keep in mind, a vehicle travelling 30 km/hr needs about 18 metres – the length of four cars – to stop.

  • Scan the road, not your phone. Distracted driving is one of the main factors in crashes involving pedestrians. Always leave your phone alone while driving. With so many children and teens out on Halloween night, it's important to stay focused on the road and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

  • Have patience. Many drivers will be moving slowly as they watch out for trick-or-treaters. If a vehicle is slowing down or stopped in front of you, don't try to pass. The driver may be stopping to let children cross the road or for something else you can't see.

  • Don't be surprised. Expect the unexpected on Halloween night. Children tend to have their minds more on treats than road safety on Halloween. Anticipate seeing children suddenly dart across the road or walking in unexpected places like driveways, alleys and parking lots.

Tips to keep kids safe

  • Be reflective and easy to see. Many costumes can be dark and hard to see for drivers at night. Encourage your child to wear a lighter-coloured costume. Add reflective tape to their outfit and treat bag, and have them to use a flashlight or headlamp to help them stand out in the dark.

  • Plan a safe route. The best trick-or-treat route is familiar, well established, direct and away from busy main roads. Organize a group to trick-or-treat together. Walking in a group will make you and your children more visible to drivers.

  • Don't stray from the rules of the road. When trick-or-treating with your child, always walk on sidewalks and cross at crosswalks. If there is no sidewalk, walk as far to the edge of the road as possible, facing traffic. For teens that are trick-or-treating with friends, review the rules of the road and remind them to work their way up one side of the street, instead of crossing back and forth. 

Tips for adult celebrations​

  • Plan a safe ride home. If your Halloween celebrations involve alcohol, plan your way home before you head out for the night. Arrange for a designated driver or use other options like a taxi, ridesharing or transit to get home safely.

  • Light fireworks safely. In areas that allow the purchase of fireworks, light your fireworks in a clear, open and safe space. Lighting fireworks on or near the road is not safe for you, pedestrians or drivers on Halloween night.

​Regional Statistics**

  • An average of 190 people are injured in 530 crashes on Halloween in the Lower Mainland.

  • An average of 28 people are injured in 120 crashes on Halloween on Vancouver Island.

  • An average of 29 people are injured in 110 crashes on Halloween in the Southern Interior.

  • An average of 8 people are injured in 55 crashes Halloween in the North Central region

*Crashes and injuries are from ICBC data for the 24-hour period on October 31.

**Crashes and injuries are from ICBC data (5-year average, 2017-2021) for the 24-hour period on October 31.

​Media contact:

Greg Harper​