AAA Washington reminds motorists and pedestrians to slow down, be alert and travel with extra caution this Halloween. As pedestrians take to the streets to trick-or-treat, their risk of being injured by motorists increases greatly. In fact, October 31 is ranked as one of the most dangerous nights of the year for pedestrians, with an increase in the number of injuries and fatalities reported. 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. What seems like a small difference - just 10 mph - can be the difference between life and death. Halloween is also a particularly deadly night due to the number of impaired drivers on roadways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that from 2007-2011, 23 percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver. “If you plan to attend a Halloween party, we strongly encourage you to designate a sober driver in advance,” said Jennifer Cook, AAA Washington spokesperson. “When Halloween falls on a Friday or Saturday night, more adults attend parties where alcohol is served and trick-or-treaters tend to stay out later, because it’s not a work or school night. This can lead to a deadly combination.” Safety Tips for Motorists: • Watch for children in the street. Trick-or-treaters may not pay attention to cars and cross mid-block or between parked cars. • Slow down and drive with caution, especially in low-lit neighborhoods between the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight when pedestrians are most vulnerable. • Avoid driving through neighborhoods. If possible, avoid cutting through residential streets where trick-or-treaters are likely to be. • Drive sober. Always designate a sober driver if you plan to drink. Visit www.PreventDUI.AAA.com to learn more. Safety Tips for Pedestrians:
• Trick-or-Treat as a group or accompany young trick-or-treaters. • Check costumes. Choose disguises that don't obstruct vision, opt for non-toxic face paint instead of masks, and add reflective material or tape to keep kids visible. • Make a plan. Review trick-or-treat safety precautions and plan your route ahead of time. Remind children never to cross the street mid-block or from between parked cars. • Buckle up. If driving trick-or-treaters between neighborhoods, always use appropriate seat belts or car seats and have children exit and enter on the passenger side of the vehicle. To support Halloween safety, AAA stores in Washington and northern Idaho will also offer free trick-or-treat bags that include a message about the importance of pedestrian safety.
Halloween Safety Tips 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.