RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As Halloween 2020 approaches, AAA is asking drivers to be extra vigilant this year in order to avoid dangerous traffic risks.
AAA said distracted, drunk and drowsy drivers all pose risks on the road this unusual Halloween weekend.
The frightful holiday happens to be on a Saturday this year, which is also the day before people will be “falling back” at the end of Daylight Saving Time (DST) at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 1.
AAA said the coronavirus pandemic will likely affect the way communities, parents, partygoers, and trick-or-treaters interact this year, but they want you to keep traffic safety on your mind.
AAA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) found that on Halloween night 2017, 89 people were killed in traffic crashes. Of those, 13 percent included alcohol. They also found from 2013-2017:
- 158 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes
- 22 percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver
- 42 percent of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween involved a drunk driver
AAA says with the pandemic, DST and events that will happen on Halloween night, a need for extra caution is necessary going into Halloween weekend.
For pedestrian safety, AAA warns:
- According to Safe Kids Worldwide, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that Halloween is consistently one of the top three days of the year for pedestrian injuries and fatalities.
AAA said eager trick-or-treaters can tend to overlook safety, so drivers, party-goers and parents must be even more vigilant as the risks for children getting injured rises.
“With an increased risk of pedestrian crashes on Halloween night, AAA urges parents to take the time to make trick-or-treaters and their costumes safer and more visible to motorists,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Blue Grass. “In addition, motorists must eliminate distractions, slow down and watch for children, as well as have a completely sober designated driver, if drinking is part of a Halloween celebration.”
AAA recommended motorists not use their phones while driving and to not get behind the wheel of a vehicle if impaired, and to drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself extra time to react to children who may run into the street.
For parents, AAA suggested being bright at night. Have trick-or-treaters use glow sticks or wear reflective tape on costumes and on treat buckets. Also, create face masks that coordinate with costumes rather than regular costume masks. This won’t obstruct vision and follows health and safety guidelines for COVID-19.
AAA advised trick-or-treaters to stay on the sidewalks and to avoid walking in the streets. Additionally, they shared you should carry a flashlight containing fresh batteries and not to shine the flashlights in the eyes of drivers.
For more information on how to prepare for Halloween weekend, 2020 call your local AAA or visit their website.
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