October 29, 2009 - Halloween Safety, Not Just Child's Play; Pedestrians, Motorists Urged to Take Extra Caution on Halloween

Contact: Alyson Kechkaylo, OHSP, (517) 333-5304
Agency: State Police

Parents focus a lot of attention ensuring their little trick-or-treaters are safe on Halloween. But it may come as a surprise that most people involved in car/pedestrian crashes on Halloween night are adults. Pedestrian crashes are historically high on Halloween night and last year there were 17 pedestrian-involved traffic crashes, three of which ended in the death of a pedestrian.

In those 17 crashes, 19 pedestrians were struck, four of them were under 16, the majority were between 50 and 60 years of age.

"More people are struck by vehicles on Halloween than any other night of the year, especially between 4 and 8 p.m.," Michael L. Prince, Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) director said. "Anyone out on Halloween night, regardless of age, should take extra care when walking or driving to prevent crashes and injuries."

While pedestrians need to be aware of passenger cars and take extra care crossing streets, drivers should also be conscious of pedestrians and limit distractions inside the car to avoid crashes. Trick-or-treaters and their chaperones can stay safer going house to house by:

  • Crossing at marked intersections.
  • Looking left, right and left again before crossing the street.
  • Wearing reflective clothing or carrying flashlights.
  • Limiting clothing or masks which impair vision.
  • Using sidewalks if available.

Motorists can avoid crashes by:

  • Limiting the number of distractions, especially passengers, in their vehicle.
  • Traveling slowly through neighborhoods especially over hills, around curves and approaching stop signs or cross walks.
  • Entering and exiting driveways with caution.
  • Keeping an extra eye on pedestrians.

Adult pedestrians and motorists should also limit alcohol this Halloween. Last year, six of the 17 pedestrian crashes involved alcohol. In an effort to reduce drunk driving, officers in 30 counties will work stepped up drunk driving enforcement Oct. 29 -Nov. 1.

A list of planned enforcement times, dates and locations is available at www.michigan.gov/ohsp.

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