Trick-or-treaters and drivers should beware tonight: children are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween.
Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) reports that “the chance of a child being hit by a car on Halloween is nearly double that of any other night of the year.” Factors include an increase in pedestrian activity, more drivers operating a vehicle while impaired, and darkness.
SDOT wants to pass along the following tips for safe driving:
1. Take personal responsibility out there [‘Make good decisions when you walk, bike , or drive’]
Taking personal responsibility on our streets means not driving impaired—which remains the single biggest contributing factor to fatalities—or driving distracted, a contributing factor that is growing at an alarming rate. Distractions include texting and driving, eating, adjusting your Halloween costume, miniature ghouls and goblins, grooming or changing the radio station. Distraction or inattention is the second-leading contributing cause of collisions in Seattle. More than 1,000 crashes are caused by inattention every year; crashes that are completely preventable.
2. Plan ahead
Plan your trip and allow enough time to get where you’re going. Speeding—which contributes to one-third of all collisions—along with distracted and aggressive driving are all related to feeling rushed on the road. No matter how you travel, make sure you have the time to give your full attention to the road.
3. Know the rules of the road
“Did not grant right-of-way” to vehicles or pedestrians is the most commonly cited factor for collisions year after year in Seattle. This contributing factor can be noted in many different collision scenarios but generally indicates that a driver, pedestrian or person on a bicycle has stopped a fellow traveler from continuing on their legal path. An example of a “did not grant right-of-way” collision occurs when a left turning driver initiates a turn without allowing enough space to complete the movement. Pedestrian collisions sometimes occur when a driver fails to stop for a pedestrian in a legal crosswalk.
4. Never assume you’re safe
As pedestrians, we should never assume that we are safe just because we are crossing the street in a marked crosswalk. In fact, most pedestrian-involved collisions occur in marked crosswalks. It’s crucial to pay attention when crossing any street. Wear bright or light-colored clothing or reflective gear in the evening time and early morning so drivers can spot you.
5. Remember—we’re all in this together
In a rush to get to work, or to get home and unwind after a long day at the office, patience often runs thin and blood pressure sometimes rises. It’s important to remind ourselves that we are sharing the road with fellow Seattleites who also just want to get to point B safely. Let’s look out for each other.
Happy Halloween from Central District News!