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Attention to safety makes Halloween less scary

Attention to safety makes Halloween less scary

Tonight, we advise you to be less concerned about that eerie howling in the woods. There's something scarier on Halloween that we can actually prevent: pedestrian and drunk driving fatalities.

Photo of 4 kids in Halloween costumes

The traffic statistics for Halloween tell a frightening but all-too-true story. 

And that's why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urges motorists and pedestrians to use extra caution on Halloween night.

Halloween safety Info-graphic from safe-kids-dot.org

NHTSA data indicates that, in 2011, 38 percent of fatalities on Halloween night occurred in a crash involving a driver or a motorcyclist with a blood alcohol content above the legal limit of .08. And 11 percent of those fatalities involved a pedestrian. In fact, over the five years from 2007-2011, 23 percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver.

When we talk about pedestrians on Halloween night, we're talking about children. SafeKids reports that on average, more than twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween than on any other single day.

To help protect drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, NHTSA offers some simple safety tips:

Motorists

  • Use caution behind the wheel.
    • Slow down and be alert in residential areas.
    • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
    • Eliminate distractions so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • Drive sober or get pulled over.
    • Always designate a sober driver and plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night if you plan on celebrating Halloween with alcohol.
    • Use your community’s sober ride program or take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
  • Watch out for your family, friends, and neighbors.
    • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.
    • If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to where they are going.

Pedestrians

  • Keep kids safe.
    • Children out at night and under the age of 12 should have adult supervision.
    • Kids should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.
    • Choose face paint when possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
    • Decorate costumes with reflective tape and have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights.
  • Remember, everyone is a pedestrian.
    • Always cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
    • Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
  • Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving; designate a sober friend to walk you home.

Tonight, a little caution will go a long way toward a safer Halloween for everyone on our roads and sidewalks.

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