While Halloween has typically meant children trick-or-treating, millions of adults also participate in the festivities with parties that can include alcohol. In fact, 7 in 10 say they’re planning a variety of ways to celebrate Halloween this year, including attending a party, according to the National Retail Federation.
This year, with Halloween falling midweek, the Automobile Club of Southern California reminds adults attending Halloween parties this weekend as well as on Wednesday, Oct. 31, to not drive intoxicated or “intexticated.” Getting home safely can be through a designated sober driver, a ride-hailing company or public transit. Those celebrating Halloween at shopping malls, festivals or “trunk-or-treating” parking lots should abstain from alcoholic beverages and texting if they are driving.
“Alcohol affects balance, judgement and reaction time while driving or walking, so don’t drive or walk under the influence,” said Anita Lorz Villagrana, the Auto Club’s community programs and traffic safety manager. “And avoid using hand-held devices, including mobile phones, while driving or walking. Everyone should prevent being ‘intexticated’ while out on Halloween night. Crashes occur primarily between six and seven p.m. during the evening commute home and while young children are going door-to-door.”
To keep roadways safe this weekend and on Halloween night, the Auto Club offers partygoers these tips:
- Designate a sober driver; don’t drive if you’ve been drinking.
- If you have been drinking, call a cab, ride app or have a sober friend or relative drive you home.
- If you cannot find a safe ride home, stay where you are until you are completely sober.
- If you’re hosting a party, serve non-alcoholic beverages, food, less alcohol and desserts.
- Make sure your guests do not drive home impaired.
- Don’t serve anyone under 21 alcoholic beverages. It’s against the law.
- When driving, be sure to watch your speed. Motorists should slow down as they drive through neighborhood areas, preferably five miles per hour less than the posted speed limit.
- Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween.
The number of pedestrian-related fatalities among children increases significantly on Halloween. “The Centers for Disease Control notes that on Halloween night, children ages 5-14 are four-and-a-half times more likely to be killed by a motor vehicle than any other night of the year,” said Lorz Villagrana.
Auto Club tips for parents and children:
- Watch carefully for children crossing the street. Children may not be paying attention to traffic and might cross mid-block or between parked cars. Motorists should scan far ahead in traffic to watch for children and try to anticipate their actions.
- Look out for children in dark clothing. Children may be difficult to see if they are wearing dark costumes or masks. Be aware that masks may hinder a child’s peripheral vision, and they may not be able to see a vehicle.
- Pay close attention to all traffic signs, signals and markings.
- Do not do anything that will distract you from driving or walking safely.
Auto Club safe costume tips for parents and children:
- Purchase or make fire-resistant costumes and headpieces.
- Avoid masks since they block children’s vision and peripheral vision. Use non-toxic and hypo-allergenic make-up instead.
- Fasten reflective tape or bicycle reflectors to costumes.
- Avoid large costumes or bulky cloaks and shoes that can cause children to trip and fall.