With Halloween falling on a Wednesday, AAA is reminding evening commuters and other motorists to expect more pedestrians on the road, as millions of children and families across the country will be trick-or-treating through neighborhoods.
Pedestrian fatalities in the U.S have been increasing in recent years, hitting a 26-year high of 5,987 in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Halloween ranks as one of the top 3 days of the year for pedestrian injuries and fatalities.
“A typical Wednesday evening commute might not encounter many pedestrians, but on Halloween people will be driving home from work at the same time as children and their families are out trick-or-treating,” said Amy Stracke, managing director of traffic safety advocacy for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Halloween should be an evening for families to enjoy together,” said Stracke. “Make safety a priority by putting down distractions, remembering that motorists and pedestrians share the road and ensuring that trick-or-treaters can easily be seen.”
AAA offers the following safety reminders for motorists, pedestrians and trick-or-treaters:
- Put it down. Avoid checking social media, sending text messages and talking on the phone while driving.
- Drive slower through neighborhoods. Driving five miles per hour slower than the posted speed limit will give you extra time to react to children who dart out in front of you.
- Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible – even in the daylight.
- Drive sober. Nearly 40 percent of fatal crashes on Halloween night involve a drunk driver. Always designate a sober driver if you plan to drink any alcohol. www.PreventDUI.AAA.com
- 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.
- Wear light-colored clothing or costumes with reflective material or tape for the best visibility.
- Walk with your children as they go door to door. Be sure to show them safe places to cross the street.
- Have children carry a glow stick or flashlight to help them see and be seen by drivers.
- If using social media, post pictures and updates before or after you go trick-or-treating. Avoid being on your phone while walking or supervising children.
“Whether it’s avoiding distractions or taking time to look before crossing the street, there are things both motorists and pedestrians can do to help keep everyone safe,” said Matt Nasworthy, Florida Public Affairs Director, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “We want Halloween to be a fun evening, so Be Smart – Be Safe – Be Seen.”
For more on Halloween Safety, visit Exchange.AAA.com/Halloween
About The Auto Club Group: The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9.6 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 59 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. Visit AAA on the Internet at AAA.com.