TOLEDO, OH - As excitement for Halloween builds, AAA offers important Halloween safety tips for little ghosts and goblins and those who will be out on the roads during a media availability on Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 3:30 to 4 PM at AAA, 5606 Airport Highway, Toledo 43615.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that Halloween is consistently one of the top three days for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. Additionally, 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.
AAA representatives will provide examples of how to “be safe and be seen” on Halloween.
AAA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) found that:
- One-fourth of all pedestrian deaths ranging in age from 5-14 occurred in the four days leading up to Halloween (October 28-31) in 2017.
- On Halloween night 2017, 89 people were fatally injured in a traffic crash, with 13 percent involving alcohol.
- In 2017, more than half of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween occurred with the pedestrian outside of a marked crosswalk.
- From 2013 – 2017, 158 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween night (NHTSA)
- From 2013 - 2017, 22 percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver. (NHTSA)
- During that period, 42 percent of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night were in crashes involving a drunk driver. (NHTSA)
- Distracted driving is also a dangerous traffic safety behavior.
- Driving while distracted kills an average of 9 people and injures over 1,000 more every single day in America.
AAA Halloween Safety Tips
- Slow down in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals. Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself extra time to react to children who may dart into the street.
- Don’t drive distracted. Avoid using smartphones while behind the wheel of a car.
- Look for children crossing the street. They may not be paying attention to traffic and may cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
- Carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys.
- Turn your headlights on to make yourself more visible – even in the daylight.
- Broaden your scanning by looking for children left and right into yards and on front porches.
- Make sure Halloween costumes are flame-retardant and light in color to improve visibility.
- Be bright at night – wear retro-reflective tape on costumes and on treats buckets.
- Wear costumes that don’t obstruct vision, and avoid facemasks. Instead, use nontoxic face paint. Also, watch the length of billowy costumes to help avoid tripping.
- Ensure any props are flexible and blunt-tipped to avoid injury from tripping or horseplay.
- Ask an adult or older child to supervise children under age 12.
- Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along established routes.
- Teach children to stop only at well-lit houses and to never to enter a stranger’s home or garage.
- Review trick-or-treating safety precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.
- Stay on sidewalks and avoid walking in streets if possible.
- If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
- Look both ways and listen for traffic before crossing the street.
- Cross streets only at the corner, and never cross between parked vehicles or mid-block.
- Trick-or-treat in a group if someone older cannot go with you.
- Tell your parents where you are going.
- Carry a flashlight containing fresh batteries, and place it face down in the treats bucket to free up one hand. Never shine flashlights into the eyes of oncoming drivers.
- Arrange a safe ride home and/or designate a driver before partaking in any festivities.
- Always designate a sober driver.
- If you are drunk, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
- Before leaving for a party, put numbers of local cab companies and your designated driver(s) into your phone.
- Walking impaired can be as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
- If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.
- If you know someone who is about to drive or ride impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to where they are going.
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Ohio. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.