I’ve mentioned this before, but with Halloween nearly upon us it’s time to put the word out again.
Parents (and friends of parents!): If you drive your kids around on Halloween, when you park on the side of the road, Turn off your headlights.
There are people who think that illuminating kids makes them safer. These people did not think it through. When you’re in the driver’s seat on the side of the road, you can see the kids just fine; oncoming cars cannot. For them, the kids are backlit and your lights are blinding them. This is a really great way to get your kid hit by a car.
And I’ve said this before and will say it again: If you do this with your high beams, you deserve to be mauled by a skunk.
If you want kids to be safer on Halloween while you take them around, by car or on foot, just buy a bunch of reflectors and glow sticks. They’re not expensive, and kids will enjoy the glow sticks. Heck, even light-up LED pendants and other such stuff will work. That way you and the cars have a much better chance of seeing them, and they’ll be safer all around. Kids win, parents win, drivers win, and insurance companies win.
But mind you, if there are street lights then there’s a good chance drivers can see your kids just fine anyway, if they’re not being blinded by opposing headlights and if you and the kids are smart about when you cross the street. The extra reflectors and such are just a good idea if you’re worried about their safety. When I was a kid we didn’t have any of that, but we also lived in a four-street trailer park with very low traffic. I’m just saying if you want to beef up on visibility, go with an option that isn’t stupid.
Also if you do stop the car somewhere, do it on the side of the street, not in the street. And if you want to talk to a friend who’s stopped there, that’s cool, but get out of the friggin’ way when traffic comes.
Please pass the message on, and make sure others pass it on too. (I don’t necessarily mean linking to this post; that’s up to you, but I’ve never liked chain posts or chain mail. But tell somebody and make sure the message gets momentum.) We need this message to go viral so people stop being so stupid and reckless with their kids’ lives in what they think is an act of safety.