Trick-or-treat: Officials offering tips to stay safe this Halloween

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma officials are warning drivers and pedestrians to be careful when it comes to trick-or-treating for Halloween.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says Halloween is consistently one of the top three days each year for pedestrian injuries and fatalities.

In fact, the CDC says that children are four times more likely to be struck by a motor vehicle on Halloween than any other day of the year.

“Because excited trick-or-treaters often forget about safety, it’s even more important that motorists and parents pay attention,” says Leslie Gamble, Public and Government Affairs Manager with AAA Oklahoma.

Also, drunk driving tends to spike on the holiday.

Officials say 43 percent of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween from 2009 to 2013 were involved in a crash with a drunk driver.

“Drivers need to be alert and vigilant when going out on Halloween night. Driving while drunk, distracted or impaired, is a recipe for disaster,” said Gamble.

AAA Oklahoma offers the following tips to keep everyone safe this Halloween:

  • Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself extra time to react to children who may dart into the street.
  • Turn on your headlights, even in the daylight, to make yourself more visible and look for children walking on roadways and medians.
  • Never drive if you’ve been drinking and always designate a sober driver.
  • If you spot an impaired driver, keep a safe distance and call 911.
  • If your kids are trick-or-treating, discuss their route and teach them to stop at well-lit houses only.
  • Also, establish a time for them to come home.
  • Tell children to not eat any treats until they get home so you can examine the candy first.
  • Trick-or-treaters should be bright at night and wear disguises that don’t obstruct their vision, like face paint.
  • Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries and don’t shine it at oncoming drivers.
  • If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
  • Never cross the street between vehicles or mid-block.