HURRICANE, Utah (ABC4 News) – Recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows Halloween is the deadliest day of the year for child pedestrians — kids are three times more likely to be struck and killed by a car Thursday than any other day of the year.
ABC4’s Katie Karalis met with Hurricane Police Officer Ken Thompson, who said early Wednesday morning a student at Hurricane Intermediate School was riding her bicycle when she was hit by a car coming out of the school parking lot.
“On Halloween, we like to see people in groups and staying on the sidewalks if there’s one available,” Thompson said. “If you’re gonna cross the road, cross at an intersection, preferably at a crosswalk.”
Authorities say there are many risks to trick-or-treating: rush hour and distracted driving, celebrations at dusk, the lack of sidewalks and unsafe street crossings, and even costumes that restrict visibility.
Thompson reminds trick-or-treaters to wear bright clothing and reflective tape on costumes and take a flashlight and asks drivers to put down their phones and make eye contact with pedestrians.
“We can all just take a few extra seconds and make a difference,” he added.
The Utah Department of Transportation told ABC4 News the fall is the most dangerous time of the year for pedestrian crashes, with the most common accidents occurring between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. — the exact times kids are out trick-or-treating.
UDOT said they’ve responded to 3 auto-pedestrian fatalities and 8 serious-injury auto-pedestrian incidents in October so far. On average, there are 42 auto-pedestrian fatalities in Utah every year, about 50% of annual fatalities on state roadways.