Halloween Safety Tips

trick-or-treating-safetyThe Washington State Patrol wants everyone to be safe this Halloween evening.

Fatalities

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2015, 106 people died across that nation on Halloween night.  More than 25% of the deaths were pedestrians, a greater than 10% increase over an average day.  More than 55% of Halloween night deaths were crashes involving drunk drivers, when on an average day, 33% of traffic deaths are impaired driving related.

Drivers

When driving through residential neighborhoods tonight, drivers should reduce their speed by at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit.  This gives drivers extra time to react.  The peak trick or treat time is between 5 pm and 8 pm.  During this time as darkness fades, visibility on the road worsens. According to the NHTSA, in 2015, every two hours a pedestrian is killed and 17 others are injured in traffic crashes.  Tonight rain is predicted in areas across the state reducing visibility. Make sure your windshield is clean and clear.  Be alert, because kids in dark costumes can dart across the street without always looking.

Trick or Treaters

  • According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 70% of pedestrian deaths or injuries for those ages 5-9 are caused by darting or running into roads.  For ages 10 to 14, the statistic is 47%.  October is the second highest month for motor vehicle deaths according to the Injury Facts 2016 report.Here are some tips to keep your trick-or-treater safe:
  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children
  • Carry flashlights with fresh batteries
  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective, so drivers can easily see them
  • Consider adding reflective tape or glow sticks to costumes for greater visibility
  • Costume masks can limit a child’s or parent’s ability to see a hazard
  • Consider makeup or a hat as a safer alternative
  • Have children stay in groups for safety
  • Do not allow children to run across streets.  Use crosswalks or intersections
  • Review with children how to dial 9-1-1, should the need arise

Distracted Walking

Don’t tweet while you trick or treat.  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission showed that in 2011, 1152 people nationwide were treated in emergency rooms for injuries sustained while walking and using either a cell phone or other electronic device.  Children and adults should put their cell phones down and keep their heads up as they travel across streets and down sidewalks.  According to a Nielsen Company study, teenagers send more than 3,400 texts a month which equates to 7 messages every hour they are awake.  In order to avoid distracted walking here are some tips from the NSC:

  • Never walk while texting, or talking on the phone
  • If texting, move out of the way of others and stop on the sidewalk
  • Never cross the street while using your cell phone
  • Do not walk with headphones on
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Always walk on the sidewalk if one is available; if a child must walk on the street, he or she should face oncoming traffic
  • Look left, right, and then left again before crossing the street
  • Cross only at crosswalks

The WSP would also ask if you are attending a Halloween party to not drink and drive

Driving buzzed is drunk driving.

Make your Halloween a safe one.

 

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