NORFOLK, Va. - AAA is warning drivers and pedestrians to be cautious on Halloween!
In 2015, over the Halloween weekend between October 30 and November 1, 22 pedestrians were injured and two were killed in Virginia, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
“On Halloween, motorists need to be especially vigilant between the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight, when pedestrians are most vulnerable,” said Georjeane Blumling, Vice President of Public Relations for AAA Tidewater Virginia. “Slowing down, watching for trick-or-treaters and designating a sober driver may save a life.”
Detective Misty Holley with the Portsmouth Police Department offered this advice if you have to drive on Halloween night.
"If you’re hoping to get from point A to point B and you know it’s quicker to take the side street and go through a neighborhood, maybe just go ahead and take the longer way around so you don’t have to waitn because you’re going to have to wait if people are crossing the street."
To help make the roadways safer this Halloween, AAA offers motorists a few easy tips:
- Avoid neighborhood shortcuts. If possible, avoid cutting through residential streets where trick-or-treaters are likely to be present. When providing directions to a party, try not to route guests through neighborhoods unnecessarily.
- Drive Carefully! Watch for children walking on streets, medians and curbs. Excited trick-or-treaters, often in dark costumes, may not pay attention to traffic and cross mid-block or between parked cars.
- Slow down. Watch for little witches, zombies and vampires in a neighborhood near you. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a pedestrian is more than twice as likely to be killed if they’re hit by a car traveling at 35 mph compared to 25 mph.
- Drive sober. Alcohol-impaired drivers make up about one-third of all motor vehicle deaths resulting in an average of one death every 45 minutes. Always designate a sober driver if you plan to drink. Visit PreventDUI.AAA.com to learn more.
A few simple steps can help parents keep their trick-or-treaters safe:
- Trick-or-Treat together. AAA recommends that parents accompany young trick-or-treaters
- Make a plan. Review trick-or-treating safety precautions and plan the route ahead of time. Remind children never to cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
- Check costumes. Choose disguises that don't obstruct vision and opt for non-toxic face paint instead of masks. Check and adjust the length of costumes to avoid tripping. Add reflective material or tape to keep kids visible.
- Buckle up. If driving trick-or-treaters between neighborhoods, always use appropriate car seats and seatbelts and have children enter and exit on the passenger side of the vehicle.