With Halloween occurring next Wednesday, the Automobile Club of Southern California reminds adult ghosts and goblins attending a gathering this weekend or on the 31st 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.
A record 170 million people plan to celebrate Halloween this year -- about 7 out of every 10 Americans -- with others, according to the National Retail Federation. More than one-third will throw or attend a party. On average, celebrants are expected to spend nearly $80 on decorations, costumes and candy as total spending on the holiday is expected to reach $8 billion, according to the NRF.
“Halloween is growing in popularity in terms of parties and decorating, but partygoers must remember to make a plan to get to and from their festivities sober and safely,” said Anita Lorz, the Auto Club’s community programs and traffic safety manager. “Partygoers should select a designated driver prior to drinking during Halloween festivities.
In 2008, in California, nearly half (45%) of all highway fatalities on Halloween night (6 p.m. Oct. 31 to 6 a.m. Nov. 1) involved a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .08.
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 designate a 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.