Weekend holiday could result in partying and impaired driving increase
(ATLANTA) – This Halloween, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is warning partygoers and trick-or-treaters alike that even though the ghoulish holiday falls on a Saturday this year, it’s no reason to let your guard down when it comes to safety.
Alcohol is normally the main concern with Halloween festivities, but more so this year because the holiday falls on the weekend and drinking could increase because many people do not have to be at work the next day. GOHS, however, insists that preparation for any night involving alcohol remains the same.
“If you want to stay safe this Halloween, make a plan ahead of time to get home without driving if you plan on drinking,” GOHS Director Harris Blackwood said. “Even one drink impairs judgement, so plan to get home by taxi, ride share, mass transit or a designated sober friend.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 43 percent of all people killed in traffic crashes between 6 p.m Halloween night and 6 a.m. the following morning from 2009 to 2013 were in crashes involving a drunk driver. On Halloween nights only, 119 people lost their lives. Unfortunately, it’s not just drunk drivers and other motorists at risk. Trick-or-treaters and the parents accompanying them are also part of the tragedy of impaired driving. From 2009 to 2013, 19 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes on Halloween night involved drunk drivers.
Halloween, however, can remain a ‘spooktacular’ holiday for everyone as long as a few safety tips are followed:
Plan a safe way home before you go out. For example, arrange for a sober driver, program taxi numbers into your phone or download the Drive Sober, Georgia app to have a list of ride programs at your fingertips.
Avoid neighborhood shortcuts and residential streets where trick-or-treaters are likely to be present.
Watch for children in the street. Their size means they can be hidden by other cars and they may dart into the street or otherwise avoid crosswalks to quickly get to the next house.
For Trick-or-Treaters and Parents
Parents should accompany trick-or-treaters at least until age 12.
Review trick-or-treating safety precautions and plan a route ahead of time.
Look both ways before crossing the street and use crosswalks as much as possible.
Choose costumes that don’t obstruct vision and use reflective gear where possible on costumes, treat bags and shoes.
Buckle up if driving trick-or-treaters between houses and use appropriate car seats.
For more driving safety tips, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org and for more Halloween safety tips, visit https://autoclubsouth.aaa.com/Assets/PDFs/HalloweenSafetyTips.pdf.