Monday, July 28th, 2014

Drivers asked to look out for trick-or-treaters

Texas drivers are asked to drive safely around areas where children are likely to gather this Halloween. And trick-or-treaters are asked to make sure they behave safely as well.

“We’re expecting more children and adults to be out on Halloween this year because it falls on a Friday. Slow down and watch for pedestrians. If you’re planning to attend a Halloween party, please designate a sober driver,” said Col. Stan Clark, interim director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

“Pedestrians should make sure to look both ways before crossing a street, and they should choose costumes that will be easy for drivers to see,” Clark said.

According to a press release from the Texas Department of Transportation, the CDC found that the number of deaths among young pedestrians (ages 5-14) is four times higher on Halloween evening than any other evening of the year. Data from the USDOT shows that:

Fatal collisions between motor vehicles and young pedestrians (under 15 years of age) happen most frequently between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. – prime trick-or-treating time.

Eighty-four percent of deaths among young pedestrians occurred at non-intersection locations (indicating children are most likely to dart and dash from mid-block into the street).

Halloween is also one of the year’s most dangerous holidays on the road due to alcohol-related crashes caused by those who drink and drive after parties and festivities. Two-thirds of all highway fatalities at Halloween are alcohol-related. Don’t even think about getting behind the wheel if you’re impaired.

Don’t use a cell phone while driving through neighborhoods. A single distraction could lead to a tragedy.

Stay below the speed limit.

Pay attention to what’s happening on sidewalks and roadways. Watch for children darting across streets, especially between parked cars.

Be extra alert when pulling in and out of driveways.

Do not assume children can see you or are paying attention. You need to take that responsibility.

Do not pass other vehicles that have stopped in the roadway. They could be dropping off children.

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