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A reminder about pedestrian safety and car accidents for next Halloween

Halloween can be the most frightening night of the year for trick-or-treaters and other pedestrians on the street. Even though Halloween has just passed, it is important for people in Albany to know that October 31 is the most dangerous night of the year for pedestrians. October 31 is the deadliest night of the year for pedestrians. To ensure that deadly car accidents do not occur in future years please consider the following safety tips.

For drivers, one of the most important things to do is to limit the use of streets in residential areas on Halloween. On the evening of October 31 trick-or-treaters are out in full force in many areas and the substantial increase in pedestrian traffic increases the risk for pedestrians and drivers alike. Drivers should not take short-cuts through residential areas and party hosts should provide directions that limit the use of residential streets.

People out for Halloween are also excited and may not cross the street at crosswalks. Drivers should slow down and watch for pedestrians crossing at mid-block or between parked cars. Spotting pedestrians is also harder because of dark costumes. Taking time to slow down can also be the difference between life and death. A pedestrian is more than twice as likely to die after being hit by a car traveling 35 miles per hour in comparison to a vehicle traveling 25 miles per hour.

Pedestrians should also take safety precautions. Parents should accompany small children and review the rules of crossing the street. Masks should be checked to ensure proper vision and the lengths of costumes should be reviewed to ensure that Halloween-goers do not trip as they cross the road. Reflective material should be adorned to costumes and the use of flashlights can also help trick-or-treaters be seen.

Not only does slowing down and making yourself more visible make sense on Halloween, it also makes sense for every other night of the year too.

Source: abc15.com, "Halloween is the deadliest night for pedestrians," Oct. 25, 2011

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