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Pedestrian accidents: A real Halloween nightmare

Whether you have kids or are just a kid at heart, nearly everyone loves Halloween. This Friday night, children from around the Bay Area will be going door to door, showing off their costumes and collecting candy. Many teenagers and adults will be celebrating with costume parties and a night out.

Most of the scary parts about Halloween are, of course, fictitious. And some concerns – like poisoned candy, for instance – are almost certainly just urban legends. That being said, Halloween does come with some serious safety hazards. Of particular concern for revelers of all ages are pedestrians getting injured or killed in car accidents.

According to the auto insurance company State Farm, twice as many young pedestrians are killed on Halloween, compared to any other typical day. Kids between 12 and 18 years old are most at risk, probably because they are less likely to have adult supervision and because they may be distracted by cellphones or talking to their friends.

In some cases, pedestrians are hit because drivers didn’t see them. In other cases, the drivers were drunk, which is another big safety risk on Halloween. Many adult Halloween parties include alcohol, and it is fairly common to see a rise in alcohol-related crashes on or around Halloween. Each year at this time, half of all fatal crashes and 20 percent of pedestrian fatalities involve drunk driving.

If your children will be trick-or-treating this weekend, please make sure to either accompany them or to have a serious discussion about safety rules before they head out. Safety tips include looking both ways before crossing the street and traveling in groups for better visibility.

And if you’ll be attending a Halloween party, remember to be conscientious about alcohol consumption. If you drink, please avoid driving and encourage others to do the same.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Source: USA Today, “Scary stuff: Halloween hazards are not just for kids,” Kim Painter, Oct. 26, 2014

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