According the Department of Public Safety, 2012 has been the deadliest year for pedestrians. There have been 25 pedestrian deaths in Minnesota in 2012. There were 18 deaths at this time in 2011.
In a few days, on October 31, there will be hoards of children, teens and adults on the streets celebrating Halloween. If the costumes do not scare you, this will. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, October 31 is the deadliest night of the year for pedestrians.
Please be cautious when navigating the streets this year whether on foot or wheels. To assist you in preparing for the night, AAA offers the following precautions for safer roads:
Avoid neighborhood shortcuts. If possible, avoid cutting through residential streets where trick-or-treaters are likely to be walking. Watch for pedestrians who may not see you and avoid distractions. If providing directions to a party, try not to route guests through neighborhoods unnecessarily.
Watch for children in the street. Watch for children walking on streets, driveways, medians and curbs. Excited trick-or-treaters, often in dark costumes, may have reduced visibility, and may not pay attention to traffic and cross mid-block or between parked cars.
Slow down. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a pedestrian is more than twice as likely to be killed if they're hit by a car traveling at 35 mph compared to 25 mph. What seems like a small difference-just 10 mph-can be the difference between life and death.
Get home safe. If you plan to drink or are hosting a party where alcohol will be consumed, ensure that you and/or your guests have a designated driver or another safe route home.
AAA offers the following tips for parents to help keep their trick-or-treaters safe:
Trick-or-Treat together. AAA recommends that parents accompany young trick-or-treaters.
Make a plan. Review trick-or-treating safety precautions and plan the route ahead of time. Remind children to stop at the end of driveways to check for cars, and to never cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
Check costumes. Choose disguises that don't obstruct vision, and opt for non-toxic 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. Trick-or-treaters should also carry a flashlight with fresh batteries to help them see and be seen.
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.
If you were a pedestrian involved in an accident, you can call me without cost or obligation. I will be happy to answer your questions and to discuss settlement issues. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact my St. Cloud and Brainerd area law firm toll free at 1-800-940-8130.
For more information about pedestrian safety, visit the following websites:
Minnesota Department of Transportation
Share the Road - Pedestrians
Watch Your Step: Halloween Deadly Night for Pedestrians
Office of Traffic Safety- A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety
"Bike and Pedestrian Safety"