(BIVN) – As a reminder to all would-be trick or treaters on the Big Island, the Hawaiʻi Police Department are sharing some Halloween safety tips for both drivers and pedestrians.
In a recent media release, police said:
The Hawai’i Police Department would like Halloween night to be a safe one for everyone enjoying the candy, costumes, and festivities. Tragically according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration drunk driving fatalities are on the rise. From 2012 to 2016 there were 168 drunk driving fatalities on Halloween night. 44 % of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night (6 p.m. October 31 -5:59 a.m. November 1), were in crashes involving a drunk driver.
Children out trick-or-treating, and those accompanying them are also at risk, as 14% of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night, (2012-2016), involved drunk drivers. Younger people are most at risk: The 21- to 34-year-old age group accounted for the most fatalities, (46%), in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween night in 2016.
According to police, drivers can:
- Avoid using handheld electronic devices.
- Remember that as soon as you step out of your car, you become a pedestrian.
- If you see a drunk driver or impaired pedestrian on the road, contact local law enforcement.
- Be especially alert for all road users, including pedestrians, at night.
- Slow down in areas where pedestrians are likely to be or where sight distances are limited. Keep your windshield clean.
- Always wear your seatbelt and use the appropriate child safety seats.
- Walk on a sidewalk if one is available. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic, as far to the side as safely possible so you can move quickly out of the road if you feel threatened by traffic. Drivers do not expect to see pedestrians in the roadway or to come out from between parked cars or behind shrubbery. Expect that drivers will not see you and wait for them to pass.
- Follow the rules of the road at driveways and intersections. Cross with a traffic signal if there is one and even if you have the right of way, make sure traffic has stopped or passed before you step into the street. This will be easier to do if electronic devices do not distract you from picking up visual and auditory information about traffic.
- Make yourself as visible to motorists as possible, especially at night and in low light by carrying a flashlight, wearing a small flashing strobe light, and wearing reflective clothing. Bright colored clothing is not enough. Drivers need time to detect, identify, and react to an object they see in the road. The sooner they see you, the sooner they can react. Reflective materials on the parts of your body that move, such as feet, legs, and arms, can be seen at greater distances by drivers in the dark. Carry your flashlight on the side closest to traffic.
- Before the Halloween festivities begin, plan a way to get home safely at the end of the night. Alcohol affects judgment, balance, and reaction time. Create a “buddy system” to get each other home safely. Call a cab or your community’s Sober Ride program, take public transportation, or use NHTSA’s SaferRide app to help you call a sober friend or family member to pick you up. Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.