AAA: Halloween is 'deadliest night of the year for pedestrians' - WFSB 3 Connecticut

AAA: Halloween is 'deadliest night of the year for pedestrians'

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

AAA released information on Tuesday that indicates that Halloween is the "deadliest night of the year for pedestrians."

Officials with AAA said high risk for crashes involving pedestrians on holiday is because of the volume of people on the roads and increased number of people attending parties that evening.

The most dangerous hours are between 4 p.m. and midnight and 38 percent of fatal crashes involve a driver with blood alcohol content higher than .08, according to AAA officials.

AAA released the following tips for drivers:

  • Avoid neighborhood shortcuts. If possible, avoid cutting through residential streets where trick-or-treaters are likely to be present.
  • Watch for children in the street. They'll be walking along roadways, standing on medians, waiting on curbs. And excited trick-or-treaters, often in dark costumes, may not pay attention to traffic. They may also cross mid-block or between parked cars.
  • When driving, broaden your scan. Look into yards and on front porches, not just to the sidewalk. Like zombies, children will be coming from everywhere.
  • Slow down. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a pedestrian is more than twice as likely to be killed if they're 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
  • Use your headlights beginning at dusk to make yourself more visible.

The following tips were released for parents and trick-or-treaters:

  • Trick-or-Treat together. AAA recommends that parents accompany young trick-or-treaters at least until the age of 12.
  • Make a plan. Review trick-or-treating safety precautions and plan the route ahead of time. Remind children never to cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
  • Check costumes. Choose disguises that don't obstruct vision and opt for non-toxic face paint instead of masks. Check and adjust the length of costumes to avoid tripping; add reflective material or tape to keep kids visible and are easy to see in darkness. Carry flashlights to increase visibility.
  • Buckle up. If driving trick-or-treaters between neighborhoods, always use appropriate car seats and have children exit and enter on the passenger side of the vehicle.

"That's the time motorists need to be especially vigilant; it's the time when pedestrians are most vulnerable," said Fran Mayko, who is the public affairs manager of AAA Southern New England in a statement Tuesday. "You may very well save a life by slowing down, watching for trick-or-treaters or designating a sober driver."

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