Every Halloween, monsters, zombies and ghouls fill the streets across the United States to celebrate. And if that’s not scary enough, AAA uncovered some frightening statistics. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, October 31 is the deadliest night of the year for pedestrians.
“Because excited trick-or-treaters often forget about safety, motorists and parents must be even more alert,” said Lori Cook, safety advisor, AAA East Central. “Motorists should watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. Drivers should to be especially vigilant between the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight, when pedestrians are most vulnerable,” she added.
Adults celebrating with friends at Halloween parties should take care to select a designated driver who is not drinking, call a cab or stay at the home of the host of the party, Cook advised.
To help make the roadways safer this Halloween, AAA offers motorists a few easy tips:
• Avoid neighborhood shortcuts. If possible, avoid cutting through residential streets where trick-or-treaters are likely to be present. When providing directions to a party, try not to route guests through neighborhoods unnecessarily.
• Watch for children in the street. Watch for children walking on streets, medians and curbs. Excited trick-or-treaters, often in dark costumes, may not pay attention to traffic and cross mid-block or between parked cars.
• Slow down. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a pedestrian is more than twice as likely to be killed if they’re hit by a car traveling at 35 mph compared to 25 mph. What seems like a small difference—just 10 mph—can be the difference between life and death.
• Drive sober. Alcohol-impaired drivers make up about one-third of all motor vehicle deaths resulting in an average of one death every 45 minutes. Always designate a sober driver if you plan to drink. Visit www.PreventDUI.AAA.com to learn more.
A few simple steps can help parents keep their trick-or-treaters safe, too:
• Trick-or-Treat together. AAA recommends that parents accompany young trick-or-treaters at least until the age of 12.
Make a plan. Review trick-or-treating safety precautions and plan the route ahead of time. Remind children never to cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
• Check costumes. 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 and add reflective material or tape to keep kids visible.
Buckle up. If driving trick-or-treaters between neighborhoods, always use appropriate car seats and have children exit and enter on the passenger side of the vehicle.
For additional tips to keep Halloween safe, including tips for parents and trick-or-treaters, visit AAA.com/PublicAffairs.