COLUMBUS, Ohio (October 25, 2017) – As more than 40 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 get ready to trick-or-treat this Halloween, AAA urges motorists, partygoers and hosts to take steps to prevent Halloween horrors from ruining the fun.
“A variety of mishaps can happen around Halloween to those who don’t prepare or pay attention,” said David McMullen, vice president, Insurance and Financial Services for AAA Ohio Auto Club. “In addition to buying costumes for your children and stocking up on treats, you may want to make sure you’re properly insured for things that could happen during this often crazy holiday.”
Beware the Brew
Nearly half (45 percent) of Halloween crash fatalities involve alcohol-impaired drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That includes about a quarter (23 percent) of Halloween pedestrian fatalities. The following tips can help reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes this holiday:
Plan ahead. Designate a driver, call a cab or ride sharing service, or stay overnight.
Host responsibly. Ohio’s host liability law holds those who serve alcohol liable for injury or death that occurs due to their drunken guests. When hosting a party, offer alternatives to alcohol. Homeowner’s insurance policies may cover this liability, but it can be avoided by monitoring guests’ alcohol intake and making sure nobody drives home drunk.
Halloween is the deadliest night of the year for pedestrians, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. With Halloween falling on a Tuesday this year, parties and Beggars’ Nights will be spread out over several days, creating an extended period of time when motorists and pedestrians need to remain alert.
Parents should accompany young trick-or-treaters at least until the age of 12.
Cross streets only at the corner. Never cross between parked cars or mid-block.
Select highly visible costumes. Add reflective tape to costumes and treat buckets and bags to increase visibility. Also, carry a flashlight with fresh batteries.
Avoid facemasks, which obstruct vision. Instead, use nontoxic face paint.
Ensure costumes fit well. Watch the length of billowy costumes to help avoid tripping.
If a princess or pirate does end up tripping and falling while running up to your home, your homeowner’s insurance policy may cover the medical expenses. It may also cover any liability for the trick-or-treater’s injuries, in case the parents were to sue.
Motorists should check for Beggars’ Night dates in municipalities they drive through each day and make sure to:
Obey all traffic signs and signals.
Slow down. A pedestrian is nearly twice as likely to be killed if they’re hit by a car going 30 mph compared to if they’re hit at 25 mph, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Just 5 mph can be the difference between life and death.
Pay attention. Excited trick-or-treaters may run out in the street unexpectedly.
Bad Luck Black Cat
Halloween also falls during the peak time for deer-vehicle crashes. If a black cat, deer or other animal runs in front of your car and you swerve and hit something else, collision coverage on your auto insurance will cover the damage to the vehicle. Not all auto insurance policies carry collision coverage, so check with your insurance agent first.