Phoenix, AZ (KPHO) — As our little ghouls and goblins get ready for Halloween, drivers are being asked to be extra careful this week when driving through neighborhoods.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says Halloween is the deadliest night for pedestrians.
“As a leader in safety, AAA reminds parents and caregivers to be vigilant, as children can easily become distracted by the excitement of the night,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “Stay safe this Halloween by using extra caution and celebrating responsibly.”
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AAA has several suggestions for drivers to use to help keep the roads safer on Halloween:
- Slow down. A pedestrian is more than twice as likely to be killed if they’re hit by a car traveling at 30 mph compared to 25 mph.
- Buckle up. If you’re driving trick-or-treaters, always use appropriate restraints and child seats. Also, have children exit and enter on the passenger side of the vehicle. No exceptions for large or bulky costumes.
- Keep watch. Look for kids walking on streets, driveways, medians and curbs. Excited trick-or-treaters, often in dark costumes, may have reduced visibility, may not pay attention to traffic and may cross mid-block or between parked cars.
- Avoid distractions, including text messaging and cell phone use, in order to keep 100 percent of your focus on safe driving.
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AAA recommends parents and caregivers keep their ghouls and goblins safe with the following tips:
- Trick-or-treat together. Parents and caregivers should accompany young trick-or-treaters. Make a plan by mapping out the route ahead of time.
- Stay visible. Have each child carry or wear something lit, such as a flashlight, glow stick, or reflective tape in order to enhance visibility.
- Be costume smart. Avoid costumes that drag, and carry flexible props. Too-long costumes can pose a tripping hazard. Props such as swords and knives should be carried in a way that will not pose an injury hazard in the event of a fall.
- Think twice about masks. Masks can restrict breathing and obscure vision, creating a safety hazard to trick-or-treaters. If your child’s costume includes a mask, consider cutting larger openings around the nose and mouth as well as the eye areas. Or, as a safer bet, skip the mask altogether and instead opt for costume makeup.
- Discuss safety with kids. It’s easy for kids to get caught up in the excitement of trick-or-treating and forget about safety. Review safety rules before they head out for the night. Highlight the importance of sidewalk use and crossing the street safely.
By Matt Hamada