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Tis the Season to Drive with focus, avoid the Safety Hocus Pocus

Posted by Office of Public Affairs

With the arrival of Halloween and the end of Daylight Saving Time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reminding Americans to drive safely, keep an eye out for trick-or-treaters, and never drink and drive. As the clocks turn back the weekend of November 5, drivers and pedestrians should also be aware of the safety challenges that occur during the shorter days of fall and winter. 

Children dressed up for Halloween on Front porch

Drinking and increased pedestrian traffic on Halloween night has historically been a dangerous combination. On Halloween night (6pm – 5:59am) in 2016, 47 people died, and nearly a third of those deaths (13) involved a crash with a drunk driver, that’s three times more than an average day. Almost one-third (30 percent) of Halloween crash fatalities were pedestrians, compared to 16 percent on an average day. From 2012-2016, 22 percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver.

As children take to the streets on Halloween to trick-or-treat, their risk of being injured by motorists increases greatly. Excited trick-or-treaters often forget about safety, so motorists and parents must be even more alert. Motorists should reduce speed in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals. 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. Parents should also review safety precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules. 

Generally, evening hours are the deadliest time on the road, so drivers and pedestrians should be on guard as we approach the end of Daylight Saving Time. In 2016, a pedestrian was killed every one and a half hours in traffic crashes. Most of these pedestrian deaths occur in urban environments, and the majority of pedestrian fatalities occur when it is dark, with 10 percent occurring from 3 pm to 5:59 pm, 26 percent occurring from 6 pm to 8:59 pm and 23 percent occurring from 9 pm to 11:59 pm.

To stay safe, on Halloween, NHTSA offers the following traffic safety tips:

Please share these tips with members of your community, so we can all have a safe holiday.

Double, double toil and trouble;

Tires turn and children stumble.

Round about the children go,

Drive with caution, keep it slow.

When about or consuming potions,

Don’t drink or drive, take precautions.

When witches go riding and black cats are seen,

Be a safe driver, ‘tis near Halloween.