TOWSON, MD (Wednesday, October 28, 2020) –– As Halloween 2020 approaches, AAA is raising concern for a dangerous traffic safety trifecta – increased pedestrian activity, drunk driving, and drowsy driving – all of which converge this Halloween weekend. The holiday falls on a Saturday this year, followed a few short hours later by “falling back” at the end of Daylight Saving Time (DST) at 2 a.m. Sunday, November 1.
While Halloween festivities amid the COVID-19 pandemic will likely look different for many communities, parents, trick-or-treaters, and party goers, those planning to celebrate should not lose sight of safety first.
Halloween Dangers – Child Pedestrian Safety and Drunk Driving
A scare in good fun is expected on Halloween, but AAA warns, not when it comes to child pedestrian safety.
Creative costumes, trick-or-treating and bags full of goodies become top Halloween priorities, but safety often becomes an afterthought. Excited trick-or-treaters some times forget about safety, so drivers, party-goers and parents must be even more alert, as the risk of kids being injured by moving vehicles increases.
“With an increased risk of pedestrian crashes on Halloween night, AAA Mid-Atlantic urges parents to take the time to make trick-or-treaters and their costumes safer and more visible to motorists,” said Ragina C. Ali, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “In addition, motorists must eliminate distractions, slow down and watch for children, as well as have a completely sober designated driver if drinking is part of a Halloween celebration.”
Halloween is also a statistically dangerous night for drunk driving. The combination of drinking and increased pedestrian traffic on Halloween is a deadly combination. AAA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) found that:
In Maryland, the Maryland Department of Transportation reports:
AAA Halloween Safety Tips
Daylight Saving Time (DST) Ends – Drowsy Driving Dangers
This year Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends just a few hours after Halloween, giving tired trick-or-treaters and party goers an extra hour of sleep as clocks “fall back” to standard time. However, AAA reminds motorists to be prepared for potential challenges, such as changes in sleep patterns that may increase chances of drowsy driving and shorter days which means driving home in the dark.
Sleep-deprived drivers cause more than 6,400 deaths and 50,000 debilitating injuries on American roadways each year, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF).
“The end of Daylight Saving Time will bring shorter days and longer nights and while many will enjoy an extra hour of sleep this weekend, few motorists realize the added dangers that can come as the result of a time change – especially when they are behind the wheel,” said Ali. “Although we gain an hour of sleep, our sleep patterns are disrupted. This can result in unsafe drowsy driving episodes.”
AAA Mid-Atlantic Tips for Drivers
AAA Mid-Atlantic Tips for Pedestrians and Bicyclists
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Who's in the Driver's Seat? The Transformation of Transportation
On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, AAA and TEDx Wilmington held the first TEDx Salon dedicated to ideas worth spreading in transportation.
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