Here's a scary fact: The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported Halloween night is the deadliest night of the year for pedestrians. This is based on the organization's analysis of 2000-2009 pedestrian fatality data.

On Halloween, motorists must be especially vigilant between the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight, when pedestrians are most vulnerable. As a result, AAA Southern New England advises drivers to slow down to watch for trick-or-treaters who may cross between parked cars or mid-block.

And because Halloween has evolved into a popular adult holiday, the motor club also recommends party-going adults designate a sober driver to take them home at evening's close.

More Information

Fact box

To help make roadways safer this Halloween, AAA offers drivers these tips:

- Watch for children. Excited trick-or-treaters, often in dark costumes, may not pay attention to traffic.

- Slow down. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, AAA's research arm, the faster you go, the more apt you will hit a pedestrian. That walker is twice as likely to be killed if they're hit by a car traveling at 35 mph compared to one traveling at 25 mph.

- Drive sober. Alcohol-impaired drivers make up about one-third of all motor vehicle deaths. This translates into an average of one death every 45 minutes.

A few simple steps also can help parents keep their trick-or-treaters safe, too:

- Trick-or-Treat together. AAA recommends parents accompany young trick-or-treaters at least until the age of 12.

- Make a plan. Review trick-or-treating safety precautions and plan the route ahead of time. Remind children never to cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.

- Check costumes. Choose disguises that don't obstruct vision; opt for non-toxic face paint instead of masks. Adjust the length of costumes to avoid tripping and add reflective mate-rial or tape to keep kids visible.

- Buckle up. If driving trick-or-treaters between neighborhoods, use appropriate car seats and have children exit and enter on the passenger side of the vehicle.

AAA Southern New England is a not-for-profit auto club with 40 offices in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, pro-viding more than 2.8 million members with travel, insurance, finance and auto-related services.