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Don't let Halloween haunt you: AAA offers tips to stay safe this Halloween

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Sun, Oct 29th 2017 07:00 am
AAA photo
AAA photo
Editorial by AAA of Western and Central New York
Here's hoping for all treats and no tricks this Halloween! With more than 40 million children between ages 5 and 14 trick or treating on Oct. 31, it's a busy night on the roads - and the worst night for vandalism. AAA Western and Central New York is reminding everyone to be on the lookout for pedestrians in the coming week, to celebrate responsibly and to make sure your home is protected against any tricks.
There are some scary statistics when it comes to alcohol-related crashes on Halloween. The NHSTA found:
  • Males between the ages of 18-34 are involved in 50 percent of alcohol-related crashes on Halloween
  • 23 percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween involve a drunk driver
  • 45 percent of crash fatalities on Halloween involve an alcohol-impaired driver
Sometimes Halloween mischief can be harder to avoid.
"Property vandalism and injuries tend to spike on Halloween night," said David Hodge, vice president of insurance for AAA Western and Central New York. "It's important to make sure you're covered for whatever hijinks might occur."
Prepare for pranksters: Vehicles are nearly twice as likely to be vandalized on Halloween as on an average day, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute. To avoid having your car egged or even stolen, park it in a secure garage or a safe, well-lit area. Double check that car doors are locked and windows are up.
Look out for black cats, blind spots and Batman: Drive slowly and be on the lookout for creatures that can come out of nowhere. Turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances. Don't hesitate to use your horn if you're concerned that trick-or-treaters don't see you.
Light up the night: Generous lighting outside of your home keeps the creeps away while providing safe passage to party guests and trick-or-treaters. Keep walkways and stairs clear of debris and make sure they're well-lit to avoid slips, trips and falls.
Follow safe pumpkin protocol: Keep candles, lit jack-o-lanterns, matches and lighters where children can't reach. Celebrants in unwieldy costumes - or masks that limit sight - are particularly at risk of brushing against open flames. Use flameless candles if possible.
Beware the brew: Depending on local laws, you could be liable for injuries to guests while at your party or driving home. Serve nonalcoholic beverages and food along with your preferred potion. Stop serving alcohol at least one hour before the party ends.
As upstate New York's largest member services organization, AAA provides nearly 860,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.

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