There’s nothing like a good scare on Halloween, but not when it comes to the safety of pedestrians and motorists. AAA East Central is advising parents and motorists to take some extra precautions this year to keep everyone safe.
“With fewer daylight hours, higher numbers of pedestrians, and motorists who are traveling to and from events, Halloween can be one of the deadliest nights of the year for children and adults,” said Lori Cook, safety advisor, AAA East Central. “Excited trick-or-treaters are more likely to forget about safety so anyone who is celebrating the holiday needs to have a plan in place to prevent potential tragedies.”
Halloween is consistently one of the most dangerous nights of the year for children. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the holiday is one of the top three days for pedestrian injuries and fatalities, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates children are four times more likely to be struck by a motor vehicle than on any other day of the year.
Tips for Motorists on Halloween:
Designate a sober driver in advance. Select a designated driver or ensure that a cab, a ride-share, or car service is available. Never ride with a driver who has been drinking.
Consider an overnight stay. If attending a party at a friend’s home, consider asking to stay overnight.
Do not let impaired guests drive. If hosting a party, remind guests to plan ahead and designate a sober driver, offer alcohol-free beverages, and do not allow impaired guests to drive.
Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a pedestrian is more than twice as likely to be killed if they are hit by a car traveling at 35 mph, compared to 25 mph.
Look for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. This particularly applies during popular trick-or-treating hours, from 5:30 – 9 p.m. Use extra caution when entering or exiting driveways or alleys.
Tips for Trick-or-Treaters:
Stay together. AAA recommends that parents accompany young trick-or-treaters at least until the age of 12.
Choose costumes wisely. Choose costumes wisely. Make sure your child is visible by selecting a light-colored costume, or by adding reflective tape. Choose disguises that don’t obstruct vision and opt for non-toxic face paint instead of masks. Check and adjust the length of costumes to avoid tripping.
Review trick-or-treating precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules. Plan and discuss the route your trick-or-treaters will follow. Teach children to stop only at well-lit houses and to never enter a stranger’s home or garage.
Always walk on sidewalks, if available. If there are no sidewalks, walk as far to the left of the road as possible, facing traffic. Give everyone a glow stick or flashlight to help them see and be seen by drivers.
Cross streets only at the corner, and never between parked cars or mid-block. Look left, right, and left again, and be sure approaching cars come to a full stop before stepping into the roadway.
AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 71 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members. News releases are available at news.eastcentral.aaa.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.