CHARLOTTE, N.C. (October 29, 2018) – Trick-or-Treaters and adult costumed partygoers will soon be flooding the streets and neighborhoods for Halloween celebrations throughout the Carolinas. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Halloween is consistently among the top days of the year for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. NHTSA data reveals that one-third of Halloween crash fatalities involve a pedestrian and from 2009 to 2016, 43 percent of all traffic deaths on Halloween involved a drunk driver.
According to the NCDOT, More than 2,200 pedestrians are injured or killed in collisions with motor vehicles in North Carolina each year, and more than a third of those collisions occur in the evening or at night.
“Don’t become a scary statistic this Halloween,” said AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety President Tiffany Wright. “What should be a fun holiday can turn into a real life horror story when people fail to take the proper safety precautions during the festivities.”
In an effort to crack down on impaired driving during the Halloween holiday, the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program will deploy its fleet of BAT (Breath Alcohol Testing) mobile units to assist law enforcement with checkpoints on the road. The presence of the BAT mobile at DWI checking stations staves time, improves efficiency and acts as a high-profile deterrent to impaired driving.
AAA Carolinas is offering tips to help everyone have a safe Halloween.
- If possible, avoid driving during the “haunting hours” between 4 and 9 p.m. – the time when trick-or-treaters will be the most active.
- Park your mobile phone: Avoid distractions by staying off of your phone; this includes talking, texting or using other apps. Disconnect and Drive.
- Yield to pedestrians: Children may not stop for your approaching car because they do not see it or they do not understand how to safely cross the street.
- No passing: Don’t pass stopped vehicles as the driver may be dropping off children or have stopped for trick-or-treaters you cannot yet see.
- Drive slowly: Be especially alert in residential neighborhoods; excited trick-or-treaters can move in unpredictable ways.
- Turn your headlights on: Even if it is still daylight out, it helps to have your lights on so children may better see your approaching car.
Parents and Trick-or-Treaters:
- Always be seen: Carry flashlights, wear brightly colored costumes and add reflective tape to increase visibility.
- Know what you’re eating: Have all candy checked by a trusted adult prior to consumption.
- Stay with your group: Never accept rides from strangers and hold hands with a friend or family member.
- Safety in numbers: Travel in groups and plan the route ahead of time.
- Stop at well-lit homes: Stay clear of dark houses.
- Avoid trips and falls: Wear well-fitting costumes, masks and shoes.
- Avoid the street: Walk on the sidewalk at all times and look both ways repeatedly before crossing the street.
- Always Plan Ahead: Designate a sober driver before the party begins.
- Drinking Means No Driving: Never get behind the wheel when you have been drinking or ride in a car driven by someone who has.
- Call a Ride: Use a taxi service, Lyft or Uber.
- Help Others: Don’t hesitate to take the keys from friends or family members who may be impaired.
- Be a Responsible Host: Make sure you have alcohol-free drinks as an option.
- Report a Drunk Driver: If you encounter an impaired driver on the road, keep a safe distance and ask a passenger to call 911 (or pull over to a safe location to make the call yourself).
- Remember: prescription, over-the-counter medications and illegal drugs can also impair your ability to drive safely.