Both trick-or-treaters and motorists can do their part to make sure everyone gets home safe on Halloween night on Georgia. Why extra caution when the ghosts and goblins aren’t even real? Because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that between 4PM and 10PM on Halloween, the number of child fatalities occurring in pedestrian or vehicle incidents more than doubles.
“It’s going to be dark and it’s going to be cold so kids could be moving fast,” said GOHS Director Harris Blackwood. “Not only do we want motorists to watch out for every young princess and pirate darting to the next house for candy, but we also want trick-or-treaters and their parents to take precautions as well.”
The good news is that Safe Kids has a handful of simple steps that both pedestrians and motorists can take to stay safe on Halloween:
·Children under 12 should trick-or-teat and cross the streets with an adult.
·Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
·Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Parents should remind children to watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
·Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Walk, don’t run, across the street.
·Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
·Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day so you can spot children from greater distances.
·Remember costumes can limit children’s visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle.
·Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
Nationwide, Halloween is also a particularly deadly night due to the high number of drunk drivers on the roads. In 2010, 41 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation involved a driver a BAC of .08 or higher.
For more information on staying safe this Halloween, visit Safe Kids Worldwide at www.safekids.org. To learn more about pedestrian safety in Georgia, visit http://www.gahighwaysafety.org/bikepedsafety.