AAA: Don’t Let Distractions Ruin Trick-or-Treating, Children More Likely to Be Struck by Vehicle on Halloween
By American Automobile Association // October 28, 2017
Children and Teens at Greater Risk of Pedestrian Injury on Halloween than Any Other Day
For many parents, watching their children dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating is an annual Halloween tradition. This year, AAA – The Auto Club Group reminds both parents and trick-or-treaters to be alert and minimize distractions, especially when it comes to cell phones and social media.
“Halloween is a day where, unfortunately, we see a higher number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities,” said Amy Stracke, managing director of traffic safety advocacy for AAA – The Auto Club Group and executive director of the Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation.
“With so many parents and teens using social media every day, we want to remind people that posting pictures and checking in on social media sites while trick-or-treating can put your life at risk because it distracts you from spotting potential dangers.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that children are four times more likely to be struck by a motor vehicle on Halloween than any other day of the year.
Several factors contribute to the increased risk of pedestrian injuries, including fewer daylight hours at the end of October, the number of people walking their neighborhoods, trick-or-treaters frequently crisscrossing streets, and motorists traveling to and from Halloween events.
Drinking and driving is also a factor in the safety of trick-or-treaters, with 23 percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween involving a drunk driver.
“Halloween night is unlike any other evening because of the number of pedestrians on the road at the same time,” said Lindsey Pavlick, AAA Spokesperson.
“There’s an increased risk of being injured or involved in a crash, and that’s before distractions and alcohol are added to the mix. We encourage people who are out on Halloween to be alert, avoid distractions and never drive impaired.”
To help make this a safer Halloween, AAA offers several reminders for parents, trick-or-treaters and motorists:
- If using social media, post pictures and updates before or after you go trick-or-treating. Avoid checking your phone while walking or supervising children.
- Talk to your children who use social media about safety and the potential for becoming distracted.
- Walk with your children as they go door to door. Be sure to show them safe places to cross the street.
- Have children carry a glow stick or flashlight to help them see and be seen by drivers.
- Watch the roads. Keep your phone down and make sure you are in a safe place away from traffic before taking pictures, sending messages or talking on the phone.
- Cross the street using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look both ways between crossing and keep an eye on the road while you are crossing.
- Always walk facing traffic if there are no sidewalks available and stay as far to the left as possible.
- Wear light-colored clothing or costumes with reflective material or tape for the best visibility.
- Avoid distractions while driving, such as checking social media, sending text messages and talking on the phone.
- Drive slower through neighborhoods. Driving five miles per hour slower than the posted speed limit will give you extra time to react to children who dart out in front of you.
- Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible – even in the daylight.
- Drive sober. Nearly 40 percent of fatal crashes on Halloween night involve a drunk driver. Always designate a sober driver if you plan to drink any alcohol.
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