Halloween is around the corner, and you know that because you've been sneaking bites of bite-sized candy for weeks now, right? But here is a scary fact: The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports Halloween night is the deadliest night of the year for pedestrians. This is based on the organization’s analysis of 2000-2009 pedestrian fatality data. And this year, Halloween falls just before the clocks "fall back" an hour (Nov. 6), which means it is dark before 5 p.m.
Here are some tips from AAA to ensure a spooky and safe Halloween:
* Drive slowly, and don't pass stopped vehicles. The driver might be dropping off children.Young trick or treaters start (and finish) house-hopping early, but older kids will be spooking door-to-door throughout the evening. The National Highway and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has these tips for driving safely among young revelers:
* Stay off your mobile phone. Avoid distractions by waiting until you've stopped to call, text or surf.
* Watch for children darting into the street. Kids can cross the street anywhere, and most young pedestrian deaths happen at spots other than intersections.
* Yield to young pedestrians. Children might not stop, either because they don't see your vehicle approaching or don't know how to safely cross the street.
* Communicate with other drivers. Always use your turn signals. And if you have to pull over to drop off or pick up your kids, turn on your hazard lights.
And, to keep your own trick-or-treaters safe:
* Teach them how to safely cross streets. They should look both ways and cross only at corners and crosswalks.
* Consider indoor Halloween activities for younger kids. Some communities also offer to help you inspect your kids' treats to make sure they're safe to eat.
* Brighten them up. Give them flashlights and glow sticks, and/or use reflective tape on their costumes, so drivers can see them.