Halloween drivers beware

Halloween drivers beware


MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio—Oct. 18, 2001 – This October 31st, your neighborhood will be literally crawling with creatures-it’s your job to be sure they take their treats home safely! And while the roaming ghosts, goblins and assorted critters aren’t real, they do represent legitimate safety concerns for drivers, according to Progressive (NYSE: PGR), one of the nation’s largest auto insurance companies.

A study conducted by the Center for Disease Control from 1975 to 1996 found that the number of deaths among young pedestrians (ages 5-14) is four times higher on Halloween evening than any other evening of the year. Data from 1999 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports show that:

• Fatal collisions between motor vehicles and young pedestrians (under 15 years of age) happen most frequently between 4 and 8 p.m.—prime trick-or-treating time;

• Eighty-four (84) percent of deaths among young pedestrians occurred at non-intersection locations (indicating children are most likely to dart and dash from mid-block into the street); and

• Of the 4,906 pedestrian/motor vehicle fatalities in 1999, 517 were young pedestrians. Of those, 62 percent were male.

To help everyone bring home treats – not tragedies —Progressive offers these 10 tips for a safe Halloween:

1. Know when your neighborhood is holding Halloween activities. The actual holiday falls on a Wednesday this year, so some neighborhoods may opt to conduct trick-or-treating on the previous Friday, Saturday or Sunday evenings.

2. Don’t use a cellular telephone while driving through neighborhoods. A single distraction could lead to a tragedy. A recent countrywide survey by progressive.com shows that 46 percent of respondents report having swerved into another lane and 41 percent say they sped up while driving alone and talking on their cell phone.

3. Stay well below the posted speed limit during trick-or-treating hours.

4. Do not pass other vehicles that have stopped in the roadway. Other vehicles could be dropping off children.

5. Be intersection alert. Children could be crossing the street.

6. Never assume a pedestrian approaching the roadway will yield to your vehicle. Children may not see your vehicle approaching or might not be familiar with crossing roadways.

7. Make sure other drivers can see you. If you’re driving a group of children, but staying in the running vehicle at curbside, be sure to put on your four-way flashers to alert other motorists.

8. Make sure other drivers can see the children. Give the children flashlights and glow sticks or use reflective tape on their costumes. These items will help the children make their way in the dark and ensure that drivers see them.

9. Be sure your children know how to cross a street. Instruct children to look both

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ways before crossing the street and to cross only at corners or crosswalks.

10. And, lastly, take advantage of your community’s Halloween safety programs. Most communities offer Halloween activities for younger children that keep them out of harm’s way. Your community may also offer a service that inspects candy to ensure that it is safe for children to eat.

Progressive (NYSE: PGR), headquartered in Mayfield Village, Ohio, is one of the nation’s largest auto insurance companies and the leading provider of insurance services and products via the Internet. In business since 1937, the company provides all drivers with competitive rates and 24-hour, in-person services. The company sells its products over the phone at 1-800-PROGRESSIVESM, on the Internet at progressive.com and through more than 30,000 independent agencies throughout the U.S. More information can be found at http://www.progressive.com.

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