(LOS ANGELES, Oct. 27, 2010) – With the Halloween observance this weekend, the Automobile Club of Southern California reminds partygoers to select a designated sober driver prior to enjoying Halloween parties. While Halloween has long been known as a holiday for children, many adults now participate in the festivities with parties that often include alcohol.
According to the National Retail Federation, Halloween parties for adults continue to be popular. This year about 148 million Americans partake in some sort of holiday celebration, and an estimated 55 percent of those ages 18-24 will attend or host a party.
“Halloween is a fun time for most, but the excitement of the night can easily cause people to forget about their safety,” said Anita Lorz of the Auto Club’s Traffic Safety Dept. “It’s essential that partygoers remember to select a designated driver prior to drinking during Halloween festivities. And, it’s important motorists show extra caution on Halloween. Slowing down and watching for trick-or-treaters can help ensure children make it home safely.”
In 2009, in California, nearly 2 in 5 (38%) highway injuries and fatalities on Halloween night involved alcohol. Halloween night included those hours between 6 p.m. Oct. 31 to 5 a.m. Nov. 1.
To keep the roadways safe this Halloween weekend, the Auto Club offers partygoers these tips:
- Don’t drive if you’ve been drinking; be sure to use a designated sober driver.
- If you have been drinking, call a cab 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 are hosting a party, make sure your guests do not drive impaired.
- 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.
And watch for 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.