Halloween a scary night to be out on the streets | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Halloween a scary night to be out on the streets

Staff Reports

Decorations at Trick or Treat Safety Street in the CVIC Hall in Minden. Halloween parties are a safe alternative to trick or treating on the streets.

One in four child pedestrians killed by a motor vehicle during the year die on Halloween, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

In 2011, 38 percent of fatalities on Oct. 31 occurred in a crash involving a driver who was legally drunk, and over five years from 2007 to 2011 23 percent of pedestrian fatalities involved a drunk driver.

Friday is not only Halloween, but the observance of Nevada Day.

Children are always at greater risk as pedestrians because of their shorter stature and unreliable judgment about when and where to cross streets. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of deaths among young pedestrians from 5 to 14 years of age is four times higher on Halloween, between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.

"Combine children walking after dark, candy, vision-compromising costumes, and adult partygoers on the road and you have a recipe for disaster," said AAA Nevada spokeswoman Cynthia Harris. "Children are safer the more visible they are. There are many easy and inexpensive ways for parents to make sure that Halloween costumes are easy for drivers to see at a distance and easy for children to see out of."

During 2012, 19,183 child pedestrians were injured in vehicle related incidents. The number of fatalities in vehicle related crashes on Halloween in 2010 increased 16 percent, with 110 fatalities, when compared to the rest of the year, which averaged 92 fatalities per day nationwide. According to data from NHTSA, vehicle fatalities increase when Halloween falls on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS

Motorists

Use caution while behind the wheel.

Slow down and be alert in residential areas.

Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.

Eliminate distractions so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

Drive sober or get pulled over.

Always designate a sober driver and plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night if you plan on celebrating Halloween with alcohol.

Use your community’s sober ride program or take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.

Watch out for your family, friends, and neighbors.

If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.

If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to where they are going.

Pedestrians

Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.

Designate a sober friend to walk you home.

Keep kids safe.

Children out at night and under the age of 12 should have adult supervision.

Kids should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

Choose face paint when possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.

Decorate costumes with reflective tape and have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights.

Remember, everyone is a pedestrian.

Always cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.

Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.

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