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October’s Ghost

The specter of more pedestrian crashes

AMATS wants to remind those travelling on Greater Akron area roadways that the month of October not only ushers in ghosts, goblins and ghouls, but the specter of more pedestrian-related crashes too.  As the region’s metropolitan planning organization, AMATS compiles crash-related data for various safety studies and improvement projects.  The agency finds that the month of October has the highest number of pedestrian-related crashes during the year. 

This is just one of the findings of the agency’s most recent three-year crash report spanning 2015 through 2017.  The report is based on the agency’s analysis of nearly 59,000 motor vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle-related crash records for the area’s roadway sections and intersections provided by the Ohio Department of Transportation.


AMATS Transportation Improvement Program Coordinator David Pulay says that, out of 501 pedestrian-related crashes documented during the report’s three-year span, 65 occurred during October.  The agency is already preparing the region’s next three-year crash report and is combing through crash records for 2018 – the most recent year for which crash data is available.  Last October alone recorded 34 pedestrian-related crashes marking the continuation of a documented 10-year trend of the month being the worst for pedestrian-related crashes. 

At first glance, Halloween and community trick-or-treat times may be the prime suspects for these totals, but Pulay says that the number of accidents are spread out during the month.  The increase in pedestrian-related crashes may be partly due to days getting shorter, but people still being active during nice weather.  Morning and evening activities, including children walking to and from school, take place in darker conditions.  “We’ve found that pedestrian crashes increase in the morning hours between 6 and 7 a.m. and evening hours between 5 and 7 p.m.,” he notes.

Pulay says that a little caution can lessen peoples’ chances of becoming one of the agency’s statistics, especially while trick or treating.  Below are some safety tips for Greater Akron area pedestrians and motorists – not just for October – but all year.

Safety Tips

  • Turn It Off – Motorists should never drive distracted and need to be particularly careful at dawn and dusk when pedestrians are out and more difficult to see.
  • Yield – Motorists must yield the right of way to pedestrians crossing in marked or unmarked crosswalks.  (Please note that there is technically a crosswalk at every street or road intersection even if it’s not marked.)
  • Stay on the Sidewalk – Pedestrians should stay on sidewalks whenever possible.
  • Go in Groups – If trick or treating in October, groups are easier for motorists to see.
  • Be Attentive – It’s best to be extra cautious.  Don’t assume that drivers or pedestrians are paying attention at crossings.
  • Face the Right Way – When a sidewalk is not available, pedestrians should walk facing traffic.
  • Lighten Up – Pedestrians generally should not assume that they are visible to motorists, especially at night.  Lights and reflective clothing are good accessories for pedestrians in dark conditions.  Glow sticks and lighted necklaces help trick or treaters remain visible.

For more information about crashes in the Greater Akron area, check out the 2015-2017 Traffic Crash Report.