27 October 2010



CONTACT: Leticia Messam, manager, AAA Traffic Safety, (813) 288-7988 office, (813) 786-7830 cell   


AAA urges safe driving for motorists and extra precaution for trick-or-treaters
Tampa, Fla., (Oct. 27, 2010) – Halloween is one of the most festive holidays for children and adults alike. However, statistics show children are at an increased risk during typical trick-or-treat hours on Halloween evening. The number of deaths among children five to 14 is four times higher on Halloween night between the hours of 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. when compared to the same time period during all other evenings of the year. Motorists should be extra cautious while driving, especially in residential areas and parents must diligently discuss the safe pedestrian rules and practices before Halloween. 
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s Traffic Safety Culture Index shows one in four drivers (25%) stated they drove 15 mph over the speed limit on a residential street within the past 30 days. One in five admitted they did so more than once (20%), and very few (4%) report doing this fairly often or regularly.
“For pedestrians, the risk of being in a fatal crash almost doubles if they are hit by a car going 30 mph compared to a car going 25 mph,” said Leticia Messam, AAA Traffic Safety Manager.  “Though it seems insignificant, just a difference of 5 mph can be the difference between life and death.”
AAA recommends the following tips for parents:
  • Accompany young trick-or-treaters at least until they can safely and confidently navigate the streets on their own. 
  • Ensure your child’s Halloween costume is highly visible with retro-reflective material if trick-or-treating past dusk.
  • Review trick-or-treating safety precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.
  • Plan and discuss the route your trick-or-treaters will follow. Teach children to stop only at well-lit houses and to never enter a stranger’s home or garage.
  • Avoid face masks. Instead, have children wear disguises that don’t obstruct vision or use nontoxic face paint.
  • Watch the length of costumes to help avoid tripping.
  • Ensure any props are flexible and blunt-tipped to avoid injury.
  • Parents and trick-or-treaters should cross streets only at the corner, and never mid-block or between parked cars. 
  • Make eye contact with motorists and wait for them to make a complete stop before stepping into the roadway.
AAA recommends the following tips for motorists:
  • If possible, avoid cutting through residential areas where trick-or-treaters are likely to be present.
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals. The risk of killing a pedestrian increases with minimal speed increases.
  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. In dark costumes, they’ll be harder to see at night.
  • If you must travel through residential areas, scan far ahead, watch for children and cautiously monitor their actions.
  • Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible - even in the daylight. 

AAA Auto Club South has 79 branch offices serving more than 4.1 million members in Florida, Georgia, West and Middle Tennessee and Puerto Rico. Since its founding in 1938, AAA Auto Club South has worked to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve travel safety.


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