ICBC shares top tips for a safe Halloween

October 26, 2023

Halloween should be a fun-filled day for all British Columbians, but it can also be a frightening time on our roads.

Every year on October 31, an average of 250 people are injured and one person is killed in 830 crashes in B.C.*

With festivities set to take place throughout the province this weekend and on Tuesday, here are some steps you can take to help keep everyone safe this Halloween:

Tips for drivers

  • Reduce your speed. Managing your speed on Halloween is essential. Small changes in how you drive can have a big impact, and driving at a lower speed will give you more time to stop in case a child runs across the street unexpectedly. Keep in mind, a vehicle travelling even 30 km/hr needs about 18 metres – the length of four cars – to stop.

  • Keep your eyes on the road and avoid distractions. Even quick glances away from the road increases your risk of crashing. Distracted and inattentive driving is one of the leading causes of crashes with pedestrians and other road users. Always leave your phone alone while driving. With so many families out on Halloween night, it's important to stay focused on the road and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

  • Remember to yield at crosswalks. Drivers failing to yield in crosswalks is a key contributing factor in collisions involving pedestrians, so make sure to look out for pedestrians near crosswalks and intersections.

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

  • Expect the unexpected. 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 difficult to see 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.

  • Follow 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 festivities are going to involve alcohol, make sure you plan ahead for a safe ride 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 and use 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 185 people are injured in 531 crashes on Halloween in the Lower Mainland.

  • An average of 31 people are injured in 121 crashes on Halloween on Vancouver Island.

  • An average of 28 people are injured in 112 crashes on Halloween in the Southern Interior.

  • An average of 9 people are injured in 53 crashes Halloween in the North Central region

*Crash and injury statistics are from ICBC data (5-year average, 2018-2022) for the 24-hour period on October 31.

Media Contact:

Greg Harper