From Kimberly Schwind, AAA Ohio, 1831Galion
Halloween falls on the last day of National Pedestrian Safety Month and is historically one of the deadliest nights of the year for pedestrians. To keep everyone safe, AAA is encouraging Ohioans to Be Smart. Be Safe. Be Seen. when celebrating this year.
“Halloween brings an increased risk for pedestrian crashes,” said Kellie O’Riordan, driver education programs manager for AAA Ohio Auto Club. “And with Beggars’ Night taking place on different days, the danger to pedestrians extends beyond just Halloween night. That’s why it’s important for everyone to remain vigilant on the roads this week, especially during the evening hours.”
In 2021, 73 pedestrian-related crashes occurred on Ohio’s roads during Halloween week, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety Electronic Crash System. The most pedestrian crashes occurred Thursday and Friday when many municipalities held Beggars’ Night celebrations. The hours of 5-9 p.m. were peak times for pedestrian crashes throughout Halloween week.
AAA’s campaign Be Smart. Be Safe. Be Seen. encourages all drivers, partygoers and trick-or-treaters to do their part to keep everyone safe when celebrating Halloween. AAA offers the following tips for each group.
As a reminder, Galion’s trick or treat takes place on Sunday, October 30 from 2 PM until 4 PM.
- See and be seen. Choose disguises that don’t obstruct vision and opt for non-toxic face paint or incorporate a cloth face mask into the costume. Carry a flashlight and add reflective tape to costumes or bags.
- Ensure costumes fit well. Check and adjust the length of costumes to prevent tripping.
- Follow road rules. Cross streets only at the corner. Never cross between parked cars or mid-block. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
- Stay together. An adult should accompany young trick-or-treaters at least until the age of 12. Older children should trick-or-treat in groups. Plan and discuss the route these trick-or-treaters will follow.
- Plan ahead. Check Beggars’ Night dates for municipalities you drive through each day.
- Check your headlights. Make sure your headlights are clean and in working order. This will help you see and be seen by pedestrians and other drivers.
- Slow down! A pedestrian is nearly twice as likely to be killed if they’re hit by a car going 30 mph compared to one going 25 mph, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Just 5 mph can mean the difference between life and death.
- Pay attention: Ditch the distractions and scan the road frequently to allow for more reaction time if a child darts out in front of your car.
- Obey all traffic signs and signals. Be predictable to pedestrians by stopping at all stop signs and red lights.
- Drive sober. Last year during Halloween week, nearly 300 OVI-related crashes occurred on Ohio’s roads. The bulk of these occurred on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This Halloween, designate a sober driver or call a cab or ride sharing service.
- Host responsibly: Ohio’s host liability law holds those who serve alcohol liable for injury or death that occurs from their guests drinking and driving. When hosting a party, be sure to offer alternatives to alcohol. For ideas, party hosts can visit com/Mocktails.
AAA provides more than 63 million members with travel-, financial-, insurance-, and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited online at AAA.com.