Hubble, bubble, road safety trouble31 Oct 2008

This Hallowe’en has the potential to be a very scary night indeed.
According to the RAC Foundation, a dangerous concoction of darker evenings and ‘trick or treaters’ running around in black cloaks and witches hats could spell out a nightmare for drivers and pedestrians alike.

Fatal Fridays
This year Hallowe’en falls on a Friday – the worst day of the week for road accidents across Great Britain. In 2007, 51,792 accidents were recorded on Fridays- almost 4,000 more than on the next most dangerous day for accidents involving motor vehicles – Wednesday. *
Late afternoon to early evening (4-6pm), the most popular time for children’s trick or treating outings, covers the peak time on Fridays for serious accidents involving car users.

Devilishly dark
The end of British Summer Time further aggravates the ‘fatal Friday phenomenon,’ in late October. In 2007, the pedestrian KSI (Killed or Seriously Injured) figure rose by 109 between September and October and by a further 32 between October and November. *

Trick or tree-eat?
Cats, bats and hats. The colour of this spooky day is undoubtedly black. This wardrobe choice makes ‘trick or treaters’ a menace to spot on dark evenings whilst the excitement of the occasion means that many children will not be thinking about the Green Cross Code.

The RAC Foundation recommends the following measures to make sure your Hallowe’en is spellbindingly safe:

1. Parents, make sure your coven of witches is close by at all times;
2. Accessorise! No trick or treating outfit is complete, or visible, without a Hallowe’en lantern or flashing accessory;
3. Drivers, make sure you are extra vigilant this dark Friday evening, as excited tweens and teens focus on their next sweetie fix; not road safety. And…….
4. Check, your vehicle lights. This is a good time of year to do routine checks on all vehicle lights to ensure your own safety on dark morning and evening runs.

* Road Casulaties Great Britain 2007, Department for Transport
Elizabeth Dainton
RAC Foundation, Research Development Manager, 0207 747 3448