Saturday, October 30, 2010

Let's Make Halloween Safe on Loudoun County's Roadways

Halloween is a fun, festive time for both trick-or-treating children and adults, but unfortunately it is also a dangerous time of the year.

According to Consumer Reports, Halloween is one of the deadliest days of the year for pedestrians and the rate of pedestrian fatalities for children are over four times higher than any other night of the year.

Halloween night is one of the deadliest nights of the year for drunk drivers, as well. In 2008, 58 percent of all highway fatalities on Halloween night involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a blood-alcohol content level (BAC) of .08 or higher.

Here's some tips to help ensure that this year’s Halloween season doesn’t become a nightmare:
  • Do not drink and drive.
  • Drive slowly in and around neighborhoods and residential streets.
  • Watch for children who may dart out into the street.
  • If you are driving children around for trick or treating, make sure they are buckled up appropriately with a child safety seat or vehicle seatbelt. Do this each and every time they enter the car, and check before driving to the next stop.
  • Pull over to safe locations to let children exit curb side, away from traffic. Use your hazard lights to alert other drivers of not only your car, but to exercise caution. Especially on Halloween, they will be extra wary for children as a result.
  • Try to park in a spot where you won’t need to back up, but if you must, have an adult outside to make sure no children are in the way.
  • Do not use a cell phone or other mobile device while driving. It is far too dangerous to drive on Halloween to add further, unnecessary risks. Pull over safely to check voice messages, or texts, as needed.
And parents, let's remember these safety tips for your trick-or-treaters to follow to aid Loudoun County motorists:
  • Children should stay on sidewalks instead of walking between cars or on lawns where there could be ornaments or wires that could be a tripping hazard.
  • Remind children to look for cars when walking by a driveway.
  • Consider a costume that is a lighter color and more visible to motorists. Add reflective material front and back; it can even be part of the design.
  • If children are walking in the dark, give them a flashlight, so they can be seen by drivers. Glow sticks can further aid visibility.

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