All Hoosiers have a favorite way to spend the spookiest night of the year, Halloween. This year, October 31 itself is a Tuesday, meaning festivities may be extended over several days, leading to even more fun, but also more risks. Whether you’re having fun with the kids, exploring the ghostly parts of town, or spending your night at a party, Halloween is best when celebrated safely. Here’s some tips for Indianapolis residents headed out to haunt the town.
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Be Bright and Alert
When out and about, keep a close eye on your peripherals. Your eyes have anywhere from six to 120 million rods responsible for your peripheral vision. These rods are extremely sensitive to light, so your peripheral vision is actually better in the dark, but that doesn’t mean you can be less alert. If you’re driving, remember Indiana state law requires you to be at least two or three seconds behind a vehicle to account for brake time. Depending on weather, or how many pedestrians are in the area, good defensive driving may require even more patience. Remember, always yield to pedestrians.
Halloween may be the only night you can bust out the black eyeliner, black robe, and black boots, but don’t forget to wear something reflective and bright so cars can see you even in the darkest hour. Pedestrian deaths by vehicles increased 10 % between 2015 and 2016, and accounted for 15% of traffic fatalities in 2015.
When scoping out venues for adult Halloween time, choose bars that have bouncers. A bouncer’s job is to ensure the safety of the patrons on behalf of the venue. Clubs with security on staff are usually a safer choice for your evening activities.
It’s also a great idea to have your designated driver already planned so you can have a worry-free night. Don’t forget you can schedule a Lyft driver seven days before your pick-up date and an Uber can be scheduled 30 days in advance. You can plan your entire night-out with a ride at the end of it all, and your adventure will have a set end time, rather than being open-ended.
For a unique and fun Halloween with the kids, consider alternatives to the traditional trick-or-treating. For example, the Indiana State Museum is having a Family Night Out: Trick or Treat on October 21st. There will be games, crafts, and stories for the kids – on top of trick-or-treating in the galleries.
Halloween is also the time of year for the infamous haunted house. Haunted houses are required by Indiana state law to have a certificate from the state Fire Marshall’s Office, stating they have met all safety requirements. You can ask to see their certificate, but you can also see the signs of a compliant haunted house. Pathways should be clear, exits should be visible and clearly marked, and there should never be an open flame in a building. Look out for over-crowded areas. This could be a sign of poor management or disorganization. The haunted house’s website or staff on hand should clearly disclose any risks or warnings about uneven pathways or other features that could potentially cause injury.