AAA says Halloween is deadly for pedestrians
Princesses, pirates, monsters, and ghosts will be filling the streets of neighborhoods across the country to celebrate Halloween and AAA wants to remind parents to be extra vigilant of the potential dangers facing children while they trick or treat.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Oct. 31 is the deadliest night of the year for pedestrians. Statistics show the number of deaths among young pedestrians from 5 to 14 years of age is four times higher on Halloween, between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.
“Children are always at greater risk as pedestrians because of their shorter stature and unreliable judgment about when and where to cross streets,” said AAA Northern California spokesperson Cynthia Harris. “By slowing down, watching for trick-or-treaters who may cross between cars and choosing a sober designated driver, you could be saving a life.”
AAA Safety Halloween Tips for Parents and Drivers:
• Avoid neighborhood shortcuts. If possible, avoid cutting through residential streets where trick-or-treaters are likely to be present.
• Slow down. According 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 compared to 25 miles per hour. What seems like a small difference – just ten miles – 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.
• Trick or Treat together. AAA recommends that parents accompany young trick-or-treaters at least until the age of 12 years old.
• Make a plan. Review trick-or-treat 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. Adjust the length of costumes to avoid tripping and add reflective material to keep kids safe.
• Buckle up. Always use appropriate car seats and have children exit and enter on the passenger side of the vehicle.
As part of AAA’s on-going commitment to keeping the roads safe on holidays, AAA’s Tipsy Tow Program will offer a free tow for drinking drivers from 6 p.m. on Oct. 31, to 6 a.m. on Nov. 1, in Northern California, Nevada and Utah. Members and non-members alike can call 800-222-4357 for a free tow of up to 10 miles.