The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reminding both motorists and pedestrians to use extra caution on Halloween night. Nationwide, Halloween is a particularly deadly night due to the high number of drunk drivers on the roads and the increase in pedestrians during the evening hours.
In 2011, 38 percent of fatalities on Halloween night occurred in a crash involving a driver or a motorcyclist with a BAC of .08 or higher and 11 percent of those fatalities involved a pedestrian. In fact, over the five years from 2007-2011, 23 percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver. NHTSA offers the following safety tips to help ensure a safer Halloween.
- Use caution while behind the wheel.
- Slow down and be alert in residential areas.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
- Eliminate distractions so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
- Drive sober or get pulled over.
- Always designate a sober driver and plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night if you plan on celebrating Halloween with alcohol.
- Use your community’s sober ride program or take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
- Watch out for your family, friends, and neighbors.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.
- If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to where they are going.
- Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
- Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
- Keep kids safe.
- Children out at night and under the age of 12 should have adult supervision.
- Kids should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.
- Choose face paint when possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
- Decorate costumes with reflective tape and have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights.
- Remember, everyone is a pedestrian.
- Always cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
- Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross
The above is an excerpt adapted from the article, “NHTSA Offers Halloween Safety Tips .” For more information, please visit www.nhtsa.gov.