children standing while holding Jack 'o lantern and wearing costume

Be a pain in the neck by dressing up as a vampire this Halloween, not by driving distracted. The Missouri Department of Transportation is urging trick-or-treaters and drivers to stay alert for each other.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, children are three times more likely to be struck and killed by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year. And since 2015, Missouri has seen more fatal crashes involving pedestrians in October than any other month.

“Halloween night often presents dark conditions with an influx of pedestrians, many of them children. Those factors alone present increased risks,” said Becky Allmeroth, chief safety and operations officer. “Drivers and pedestrians both play important roles in keeping each other safe, so please stay vigilant however you travel this Halloween.”

Drivers should avoid distractions so they’re aware of any pedestrians walking on or near the roadways. Be especially cautious during evening hours, as children in dark clothing may be difficult to see. Be sure to slow down in areas where pedestrians are likely to be or where sight distances are limited, and never drive impaired.

Pedestrians can make smart choices to keep themselves safe, such as using flashlights and proper crosswalks. If flashlights or crosswalks aren’t available, walk facing traffic and as far to the side as possible. Doing so helps pedestrians be as visible as possible to passing motorists. Make sure traffic has stopped or passed before you begin to cross the road. And like drivers, pedestrians should also avoid distractions so you are alert to the traffic around you.

For more tips and information on keeping yourself and others on the roadways safe, visit www.savemolives.com to check out Missouri’s strategic highway safety plan, Show-Me Zero. Show-Me Zero promotes four key messages to eliminate roadway fatalities: buckle up, phone down, slow down, and drive sober. If you are traveling, be sure to visit MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map at www.traveler.modot.org to find out what road conditions you’ll encounter before you go.