Beware of the ‘Witching’ Hours on Halloween, says AAA

Here are some scary Halloween facts:

Nearly 40% of fatal crashes nationally on Halloween night involve a drunk driver;

1/3 of those crash fatalities involve a pedestrian; and

Fatal injuries nearly double when the holiday falls on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday

On Halloween, motorists need to be especially vigilant between the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight, when pedestrians are most vulnerable. As a result, AAA Northeast advises drivers to slow down to watch for trick or treaters, who may cross between parked cars or mid-block.

And because Halloween has evolved into a popular adult holiday, AAA also recommends party-going adults designate a sober driver to take them home at evening’s close.

To help make roadways safer this Halloween, AAA offers drivers these tips:

Watch for children! Excited trick-or-treaters, often in dark costumes, may not pay attention to traffic and cross mid-block or between parked cars.

Slow down. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, AAA’s research arm, the faster you go, the more apt you’ll hit a pedestrian. That walker is twice as likely to be killed if they’re hit by a car traveling at 35 mph compared to one traveling at 25 mph.

Drive sober. Alcohol-impaired drivers make up about one-third of all motor vehicle deaths. This translates into an average of one death every 45 minutes.

A few simple steps also can help parents keep their trick-or-treaters safe, too:

Trick-or-Treat together. AAA recommends 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; opt for non-toxic face paint instead of masks. Adjust the length of costumes to avoid tripping and add reflective material or tape to keep kids visible.

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

AAA Northeast is a not-for-profit auto club with 61 offices in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York providing more than 5.2 million local AAA members with travel, insurance, finance, and auto-related services.

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