Halloween can be a fun holiday for children and adults alike, including children trick-or-treating and adults attending parties that can include alcohol. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, 61 percent of Americans say they’re planning to celebrate Halloween this year, including throwing or attending a party and/or taking children trick-or-treating.
This year, with Halloween falling during the week, the Automobile Club of Southern California reminds adults attending Halloween parties on Thursday, “Don’t Drive Intoxicated. Don’t Drive Intexticated” because both impaired and distracted driving could lead to the same consequences. Partygoers are encouraged to designate a sober driver, use a ride-sharing company, taxi or public transit. Those celebrating Halloween at shopping malls, festivals or “trunk-or-treating” parking lots should abstain from alcoholic beverages and all drivers should focus on the road ahead and not their smartphones.
“Don’t drive or walk under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including over-the-counter medicines that can impair driving,” said Anita Lorz Villagrana, the Auto Club’s community programs and traffic safety manager. “Also, 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 week 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.
“The number of pedestrian-related fatalities among children increases significantly on Halloween. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that children are four times more likely to be struck by a motor vehicle on Halloween than any other day of the year,” said Lorz Villagrana.
Auto Club tips for drivers:
- Watch carefully for children crossing the street or standing on medians and curbs. 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.
- 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. 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.
Auto Club safe costume tips for parents and children:
- Purchase or make fire-resistant costumes and headpieces.
- Avoid masks since they block children’s forward 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.
- Teach kids to watch while they walk and avoid all distractions.