On Halloween night, ghosts, goblins and ghouls will fill the streets to celebrate. And if that’s not scary enough, AAA has uncovered this frightening fact: October 31 is the deadliest night of the year for pedestrians, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
“On October 31, it’s vital that motorists keep their eyes moving, limit distractions and expect the unexpected, especially after dark when pedestrians are most vulnerable,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “Whether walking or driving, all road users need to employ extra caution so that Halloween doesn’t turn tragic for young trick-or-treaters.”
AAA urges motorists to take the following precautions:
- Avoid neighborhood shortcuts. If possible, don’t cut through residential streets where trick-or-treaters are likely to be walking. Watch for pedestrians who may not see you. If providing directions to a party, try to avoid routing guests through residential neighborhoods.
- Watch for children in the street. Watch for children walking on streets and driveways, as well as in medians and on curbs. Excited trick-or-treaters, often in dark costumes, may have reduced visibility. They may unexpectedly cross mid-block or run out into the street from 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 deadly.
AAA offers the following tips for parents to help keep their trick-or-treaters safe:
- Trick-or-treat together. AAA recommends that parents accompany young trick-or-treaters and carry flashlights or glow sticks.
- Make a plan. Review trick-or-treating safety precautions and plan the route ahead of time. Remind children to stop at the end of driveways to check for cars, and to never 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 the 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.
A not-for-profit organization, AAA Oklahoma serves its 354,000 members across Oklahoma with emergency help on the road, auto travel assistance and a wide range of personal insurance, travel, financial and automotive services through its 42 retail branches, regional operations center and at www.AAA.com.