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Be safe this Halloween

Oct 26, 2015 09:07AM ● Published by Neighbors Magazines

Halloween can be a spooky time of the year for motorists and pedestrians as trick-or-treaters walk in and near roadways. In fact, the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that Oct. 31 is one of the deadliest nights of the year for pedestrians.

AAA urges motorists to slow down and drive with caution, especially in low-lit neighborhoods between the hours of 4pm and midnight when pedestrians are most vulnerable. Also, if you plan to attend a Halloween party, arrange a sober driver to avoid the risks of impaired driving.

“Halloween can be a fun night for spooky celebrations and pranks, but impaired driving is no joke,” said Jennifer Cook, senior manager of corporate communications at AAA Washington. “Many vehicle-pedestrian crashes and fatalities can be prevented if drivers don’t get behind the wheel after drinking.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), from 2007–2011, 52% of all national vehicle related fatalities occurring on Halloween night involved a drunk driver.

Tips from AAA on ways motorists can help keep roadways safe this Halloween:

Avoid driving through neighborhoods. If possible, avoid cutting through residential streets where trick-or-treaters are likely to be.

Watch for children in the street. Trick-or-treaters may not pay attention to cars and cross mid-block or between parked cars.

Slow down. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a pedestrian is more than twice as likely to be killed if they are hit by a car traveling at 35 mph compared to 25 mph. What seems like a small difference—just 10 mph—can be the difference between life and death.

Drive sober. Always designate a driver if you plan to drink.

Simple steps for parents to help keep trick-or-treaters safe:

Check costumes. Choose disguises that do not obstruct vision, opt for non-toxic face paint instead of masks, and add reflective material or tape to keep kids visible.

Trick-or-Treat together. AAA recommends that parents accompany young trick-or-treaters.

Make a plan. Review trick-or-treat safety precautions and plan your route ahead of time. Remind children never to cross the street mid-block or from between parked cars.

Buckle up. If driving trick-or-treaters between neighborhoods, always use appropriate seat belts or car seats and have children exit and enter on the passenger side of the vehicle.

The City of Darien does not restrict Trick-or-Treat hours, but suggest daylight hours for safety.

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