AAA says it’s often a time when for increased fatal pedestrian accidents.
Towson, Md (KM) In addition to being a scary time with little ghosts, goblins, witches and ghouls heading out to scare up some candy, Halloween is also a dangerous time of the year. AAA Mid-Atlantic says it’s a time when there are more fatal pedestrian accidents. “Nationally ,unfortunately, the number of pedestrian fatalities, that ‘s adults and children, actually quadruples on Halloween,” says spokeswoman Ragina Ali. “And the week before it historically ranks as the days of the year with the most pedestrian deaths.”
Not only do children dress up in costumes to go out trick or treating, it also gets dark earlier in the day.
Ali urges motorists to be cautious if they’re coming home from work while little ghouls are out trying to get some candy. “Make sure they’re paying attention, particularly for kids not crossing at the crosswalks where they should,” she says.
Some other tips from AAA for drivers who are out on Halloween night: “Drive at least five miles per hour below the posted speed limit to give themselves extra time to react to children who may dart into the street,” says Ali. “Carefully, enter and exit driveways and alleys. Make sure their headlights are on to make themselves more visible even in the daylight.”
She also says motorists must be extra cautious if they’re heading out to an adult Halloween party. “We know a lot of adults may go to Halloween parties. Make sure they’re doing so responsibly; they’re not driving and drinking, or driving while impaired,” says Ali.
But AAA says trick-or-treaters also need to take precautions when they’re out trying to scare up some goodies. “Cross the streets only at the corner. Never cross between parked vehicles or mid-block. Stay on the sidewalks. Avoid walking in the streets if at all possible,” says Ali. “If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road where they’re facing traffic instead of going where traffic is behind them.”
Ali urges parents to make sure their children’s costumes and their bags of buckets that hold the candy have red reflective tape. She says avoid face masks. Instead, use non-toxic face paint. And watch the length of their children’s costumes so they don’t trip when they’re out trick-or-treating.
She also says children should carry a flashlight when out scaring up candy.
By Kevin McManus