AAA Mid-Atlantic is warning drivers, parents, trick-or-treaters and partygoers of the risks and dangers of Halloween — and offering some tips to have a safe and happy holiday.

“With an increased risk of pedestrian crashes on Halloween night, AAA Mid-Atlantic urges parents to take the time to make trick-or-treaters and their costumes safer and more visible to motorists,” said Ken Grant, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “In addition, motorists must eliminate distractions, slow down and watch for children, as well as have a completely sober designated driver if drinking is part of a Halloween celebration.”

Halloween is a statistically dangerous night for drunk driving. The combination of drinking and increased pedestrian traffic on Halloween is a deadly combination. AAA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that:

— 1/4 of all pedestrian deaths ranging in age from 5-14 occurred in the four days leading up to Halloween, Oct. 28-31, in 2017;

— On Halloween night 2017, 89 people were fatally injured in a traffic crash, with 13 percent involving alcohol;

— In 2017, more than half of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween occurred with the pedestrian outside of a marked crosswalk;

— From 2013-17, 158 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween night;

— From 2013-17, 22% of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver.

— During that period, 42% of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night were in crashes involving a drunk driver.

AAA offers these Halloween safety tips for motorists, for parents, for trick-or-treaters and for partygoers.

Tips for motorists:

— Do not use a phone while behind the wheel; focus on the road and trick-or-treaters.

— Slow down in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals. Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give extra time to react to children who may dart into the street.

— Look for children crossing the street. They may not be paying attention to traffic and may cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.

— Carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys, taking extra care when backing up or turning.

— Turn headlights on for increased visibility, even in the daylight.

— Broaden look for children left and right into yards and on front porches.

Tips for parents:

— Make sure Halloween costumes are flame-retardant and light in color to improve visibility.

— Be bright at night: have trick-or-treaters use glow sticks or wear retro-reflective tape on costumes and on treat buckets.

— Ensure disguises don’t obstruct vision, and avoid facemasks. Instead, use nontoxic face paint. Also, watch the length of billowy costumes to help avoid tripping.

— Ensure any props are flexible and blunt-tipped to avoid injury from tripping or horseplay.

— Ask an adult or older child to supervise children under age 12.

— Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along established routes.

— Teach children to stop only at well-lit houses and to never enter a stranger’s home or garage.

— Review trick-or-treating safety precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.

Tips for trick-or-treaters:

— Stay on sidewalks and avoid walking in streets if possible.

— If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.

— Look both ways and listen for traffic before crossing the street.

— Watch for cars turning or backing up.

— Cross streets only at the corner, using traffic signals and crosswalks, and never cross between parked vehicles or mid-block.

— Trick-or-treat in a group if not accompanied by an adult or guardian.

— Tell parents trick-or-treating routes.

— Carry a flashlight containing fresh batteries. Never shine flashlights into the eyes of oncoming drivers.

Tips for partygoers:

— Arrange a safe ride home and/or designate a driver before partaking in any festivities.

— Always designate a sober driver.

— If drunk, take a taxi or rideshare service, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation.

— Before leaving for a party, load rideshare apps or put numbers of local cab companies or designated driver into your phone.

— Walking impaired can be as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to accompany.

— If a drunk driver is spotted on the road, contact local law enforcement.

— If a friend or loved one is about to drive or ride impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to where they are going.

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