AAA is warning Floridians that Halloween can easily turn into a traffic safety nightmare. The holiday is one of the deadliest days of the year for pedestrians. On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.
“There is an increased risk of pedestrian crashes on Halloween night, especially involving children,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “We encourage drivers to slow down, constantly scan the road for pedestrians, avoid distractions, and never drive impaired.”
AAA offers the following safety reminders:
- Wear your seatbelts and drive slowly through neighborhoods. Driving five miles per hour slower than the posted speed limit will give you extra time to react to children who may dart out in front of you.
- Avoid distractions, such as checking social media, sending text messages, and talking on the phone, while driving.
- Drive sober. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 7,388 pedestrians were killed in 2021 a 13 percent increase from 2020, and more than 60,000 pedestrians were injured nationwide.
- Cross the street using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look both ways before crossing and keep an eye on the road while you are crossing.
- Use the sidewalk. If one is not available, walk facing traffic and stay as far to the left as possible.
- Wear bright-colored clothing or costumes with reflective material or tape for the best visibility. Avoid masks that hinder your view.
- Stay in familiar neighborhoods. Only visit homes that have the porch light on and never go into a stranger’s house.
- 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.
- Avoid being on your phone while walking or supervising children. If using social media, post pictures and updates before or after you go trick-or-treating.
- Serve plenty of food and provide non-alcoholic beverage options.
- Collect car keys from guests who are drinking.
- Prepare to call taxis and rideshares. If possible, provide sleeping accommodations, or if you are sober, drive your guest home.
Additional Traffic Safety Tip: AAA-The Auto Club Group’s “Move Over For Me” Campaign
Nearly 350 people are struck and killed outside a disabled vehicle each year, and roughly a quarter of motorists do not know that Slow Down, Move Over laws exist in their state. AAA – The Auto Club Group hopes to broaden the law and educational efforts with its new “Move Over for Me” campaign that asks drivers to move over for all motorists stuck on the roadside, as well as first responders.
“If you see a disabled vehicle on the roadside while driving, be courteous and Move Over,” said Jenkins. “Remember: the person who broke down could be a friend, family member, coworker, or neighbor. Move Over for the safety of others because it is the right thing to do!”