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Frightening spike in traffic crashes on Halloween night

If you're planning to be out on Halloween night, take precautions, whether you're on foot or driving.
If you're planning to be out on Halloween night, take precautions, whether you're on foot or driving.
Photo by エン バルドマン / enggul via Flickr Creative Commons

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There's a scary bump in serious traffic crashes on Halloween nights that should serve as a cautionary note for anyone planning to go out tonight, whether by foot or car.

Halloween night is consistently one of the worst three nights of the year for pedestrian injuries and fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report children are four times more likely to be struck and killed by a car on Halloween night than other nights.

Deaths from drunk driving have also been on the upswing in recent years, making up about half of all traffic fatalities reported on Halloween between 2011 and 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Elaine Beno with the Southern California chapter of the American Automobile Association said drivers should slow to five miles below the posted speed limit and be especially careful in residential neighborhoods and around driveways. Trick-or-treaters should take precautions, too.

"Halloween night is all about staying visible and, also for kids, in addition for them to be visible, they should be able to see out themselves," Beno said.

That means reflective tape on costumes or candy buckets and no masks that block the eyes. Children younger than 12 should be accompanied by an adult.

The Los Angeles Police Department plans to step up patrols on Halloween night. Revelers are encouraged to use a ride-hailing service or take public transit.