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Halloween safety on one of deadliest nights of the year for pedestrians

It’s known as the spookiest day of the year. But Halloween is also one of the most deadly for pedestrians.

According to Safe Kids Coalition, children are more than twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween than any other night of the year.

Combine those statistics with the fact that Halloween falls on a Friday this year and add in drunk drivers — and it’s a frighteningly scary combination.

Last year, there were nine deadly crashes and 34 serious injury crashes in Missouri over the holiday weekend.

Gale Blomenkamp with the Boone County Fire Protection District is one of the emergency officials who responds to those crashes. He said there are a few reasons the night can be deadly.

“Trick or treaters can be very hard to see by drivers,” he said. “There aren’t a whole lot of other holidays besides Halloween and Fourth of July that are outdoor activities where you have a lot of people outside during dark hours.”

That darkness can be dangerous for drivers whether they’re sober or impaired because trick or treaters can be hard to spot without proper precautions.

ABC 17 News crews tested it out. They drove down a dark, private cul-de-sac and found that the child walking in the road was extremely hard to see until it was almost too late. But if the child wore a reflective vest, he was seen as a bright object far away even before it was clear he was a child.

Bright, reflective vests are just one thing Blomenkamp recommended to stay safe.

“We want people to trick or treat in groups, not alone, always have an adult present, have a flashlight to see, and cross streets at normal areas like crosswalks,” Blomenkamp said.

He also suggested children should walk against the direction of traffic if they have to walk on the street.

And he reminded drivers to be sober, alert, and slow down, anticipating the possibility of a child crossing the street.

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