Thursday, 08 June 2017 18:39

This Halloween, Drive with Focus and Avoid Unsafe Hocus Pocus

As Halloween nears, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reminding Americans to drive sober and to keep an eye out for trick-or-treaters. Drinking and increased pedestrian traffic on Halloween night has historically been a dangerous combination.

On Halloween night in 2015, 106 people died nationwide, and more than half of those deaths (55) involved a crash with a drunk driver, compared to one-third on an average day. More than one-quarter of Halloween crash fatalities were pedestrians, compared to 15 percent on an average day.

As children take to the streets on Halloween to trick-or-treat, their risk of being injured by a motorist increases greatly. Excited trick-or-treaters often forget about safety, so motorists, parents and caregivers must be even more alert. 

Motorists should reduce speed in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals.  Be vigilant, as kids wearing dark costumes could dart across the street at any time. Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself extra time to react. 

Parents and caregivers should also review basic safety precautions with their kids, including taking it slow and looking both ways before crossing the street. Crossing at the street corner and decorating costumes with reflective tape, having kids carry glow sticks or flashlights are good tips to ensure kids are seen by motorists too.

As darkness falls, it’s vitally important that drivers and pedestrians be on guard. Visibility on the roads worsens as daylight fades to night, making the evening hours a more deadly time to be on the road. In 2015, one pedestrian was killed and 17 others injured every two hours in traffic crashes.

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