PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — As little ghosts, goblins and ghouls flood the streets in search of candy this weekend, AAA Northeast is urging drivers to use caution.
“Slowing down and watching for trick-or-treaters who may cross between cars or mid-block may save a life,” said Diana Gugliotta, senior manager of public affairs for AAA Northeast.
Gugliotta urged drivers to be extra vigilant between the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight, especially since Halloween falling on a Sunday means there will be even more children out and about.
Last Halloween, Rhode Island State police responded to three separate fatal crashes within 20 minutes of each other, according to Gugliotta. She said reducing speed by even a few miles per hour can make all the difference.
“If you hit a pedestrian at 25 mph, their chance of survival is 90%,” Gugliotta explained. “When that goes up to 35 mph, it’s a 50-50 chance of survival, and at 45 mph, they only have a 10% chance of survival, so speed absolutely matters in pedestrian-related incidents.”
Gugliotta passed along the following tips from AAA:
- Avoid neighborhood shortcuts. If possible, don’t cut through residential streets where trick-or-treaters are likely to be present.
- Watch for children in the street, medians and curbs. Excited trick-or-treaters, often in dark costumes, may not pay attention to traffic and cross mid-block or between parked cars.
- Drive sober. Alcohol-impaired drivers make up about a third of all motor vehicle deaths, resulting in an average of one death every 45 minutes. Always designate a sober driver.
On the flip side, AAA is also reminding families out trick-or-treating to “be smart, be safe, and be seen.”
- Trick-or-treat together. It’s recommended that parents accompany children until at least the age of 12.
- Make a plan. Review trick-or-treating safety precautions and plan the route ahead of time. Remind children never to cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
- Check costumes. Choose disguises that don’t obstruct vision, and where possible, use face paint instead of masks. Check and adjust the length of costumes to avoid tripping and add reflective material or tape to keep kids visible.
- Carry a flashlight.
- Buckle up. If driving trick-or-treaters between neighborhoods, always use appropriate car seats and have children exit and enter on the passenger side of the vehicle.