Pedestrians beware on Halloween night

Oct 28 2011 - 12:25pm

Halloween is the deadliest night of the year for pedestrians, say AAA officials.

Statistics show the number of deaths among young pedestrians from 5 to 14 years of age is four times higher on Halloween, between 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., said Cynthia Harris, Utah AAA spokeswoman.

"Children are always at greater risk as pedestrians because of their shorter stature and unreliable judgement about when and where to cross streets," Harris said.

"By slowing down, watching for tick-or-treaters who may cross between cars and choosing a sober designated driver, you could be saving a life," she said.

Some tips parents and drivers can adhere to in being extra vigilant on Halloween night include avoiding cutting through residential streets where tick-or-treaters are more likely to be and slowing down.

Also, a pedestrian is more than twice as likely to be killed if they are hit by a vehicle traveling at 35 mph compared to 25 mph, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Utah AAA officials also stress to adults to drive sober.

As part of AAA's on-going commitment to keeping the roads safe on holidays, AAA's Tipsy Tow Program will offer a free tow for drinking drivers from 6 p.m. on Oct. 31, to 6 a.m. Nov. 1, Harris said.

Members and non-members alike can call 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) for a free tow of up to 10 miles.

"Just tell the AAA operator, 'I need a Tipsy Tow,' and a truck will be on its way,' said Harris.

The service is restricted to a one-way ride for the driver and their vehicle to the driver's home.

Other tips on how to make Halloween night safer for everyone involved include:

* Parents should accompany children 11 years old or younger who are trick-or-treating

* Plan a trick-or-treat route ahead of time and remind children to never cross the street at mid-block or between parked cars

* Choose costumes that do not obstruct vision and opt for non-toxic face paint instead of masks. Parents should also adjust the length of any costume that may cause a child to trip and add reflective material to it.

* Buckle-up

AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since being founded more than 100 years ago.

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