Be Smart, Be Safe, Be Seen on Halloween
DEARBORN, Mich., (October 28, 2020) — Halloween celebrations will look different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. AAA is sending out its annual statewide Trick or Treat Street Safety Alert for children and adults, but with new precautions due to coronavirus.
Halloween can be one of the most deadly nights of the year for both pedestrians and motorists. With the increased number of pedestrians trick-or-treating, the risk of cell phone distraction while driving or walking and potentially impaired party goers behind the wheel, it makes for a frightening combination.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued guidance on how to safely celebrate Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these tips include:
- Do not hand out candy if you are sick
- Wear a face mask covering BOTH your mouth and nose
- Wash hands often
- Consider handing out candy in an open space where distancing is possible, rather than from the front door
For Parents and Trick-Or-Treaters
- Stay home if sick.
- Talk to your children about safety and social distancing guidelines and expectations. Keep a 6 foot distance from others not in your family group.
- Avoid congregating in groups around houses.
- Wear a face mask covering BOTH your mouth and nose. (Note: A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask).
Halloween is meant to be scary, but not when it comes to driving safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the number of deaths among young pedestrians (ages 5-14) is four times higher on Halloween evening than any other evening of the year. Several factors contribute to the increased risk of pedestrian injuries:
- Fewer daylight hours
- Distracted driving
- Increased number of pedestrians
- Trick-or-treaters crisscrossing streets
- Motorists traveling to and from Halloween events
The roads can turn into a horror fest and it is a particularly deadly night due to drunk or drugged drivers when you consider that 23% percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween involving a drunk driver.
“Halloween night is unlike any other evening because of the number of pedestrians on the road at the same time,” said Adrienne Woodland, spokesperson, AAA-The Auto Club Group. “And while Halloween may be slightly different this year, there’s still an increased risk of being injured or involved in a crash, and that’s before distractions and alcohol are added to the mix. We urge people who are out on Halloween to be alert, avoid distractions and always drive sober.”
AAA’s statewide efforts are focused on an amped up awareness of traffic safety during Halloween. Excited trick-or-treaters often forget about safety. AAA encourages motorists and parents to be vigilant and even more alert during this time and heed these Be Smart - Be Safe - Be Seen on Halloween safety tips.
AAA Trick or Treat Street Safety Tips
Be Smart - Be Safe - Be Seen on Halloween
- Drive slower through neighborhoods. Driving five miles per hour slower than the posted speed limit will give you extra time to react to children who dart out in front of you.
- Avoid distractions while driving, such as checking social media, sending a text message and talking on the phone.
- Drive sober. Over 40 percent of fatal crashes on Halloween night involve a drunk driver. Always designate a sober driver if you plan to drink any alcohol. Visit www.PreventDUI.AAA.com to learn more.
Parents and Other Adults Caring for Children
- If using social media, post pictures and updates before or after you go trick-or-treating. Avoid checking your phone while walking or supervising children.
- Walk with your children as they go door to door. Be sure to show them safe places to cross the street.
- Have children carry a glow stick or flashlight to help them see and be seen by drivers.
- Cross the street using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look both ways before crossing and keep an eye on the road while you are crossing.
- Always walk facing traffic if there are no sidewalks available and stay as far to the left as possible.
- Wear light-colored clothing or costumes with reflective material or tape for the best visibility.
- Stay in familiar neighborhoods. Only visit homes that have the porch light on and never go into a stranger’s house.
Here are additional tips: Halloween Safety.
AAA in Michigan celebrated its 100th Anniversary - A Century of Service in 2016 and has over 1.5 million members across the state. It is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG). Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 14 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.