Halloween brings about sights and thoughts of haunted houses, ghosts & goblins, and spooky stories around the campfire. Celebrated every October 31st, it’s one of the most popular holidays with an estimated 41 million potential trick-or-treaters participating in 2017 alone. While most of the day is full of make-believe characters, and most of the ghost stories are fictional fun, there’s one terrifying tale that’s as real as it gets: Car crash fatalities double for children out walking on Halloween, compared to other days of the year!
A large increase in child pedestrians, costumes that are difficult for drivers to see or that obstruct the child’s view, inattentive trick-or-treaters crossing unmarked roads, distracted drivers, and an increase in the consumption of alcohol all combine for some potentially deadly results. A recent study from 2012-2016 shows 168 people killed as a result of drunk driving on Halloween night – accounting for approximately 44% of fatal car wrecks on those days.
Safety Tips for Drivers
- Remain alert and minimize distractions, especially in residential areas after dark
- Just say no to alcohol and texting if you’re operating a motor vehicle
- Reduce speed and drive defensively when trick-or-treaters are in the area
- Observe all stop signs and pedestrian crosswalks
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
- Make yourself visible to vehicles by using reflective tape or glow sticks on costumes
- Walk together in larger groups that are safer and more visible
- Carry and use a flashlight, especially when approaching or crossing roads.
- Be a responsible pedestrian by walking on sidewalks and crossing roads only at crosswalks or designated crossing areas.
- Avoid electronic distractions. Keep your phone down and your eyes up. Leave the earbuds at home for the night.
Let’s all do our part to make sure everyone makes it home safely from the Halloween festivities. Look out for yourselves and for each other while you’re out and about.