By AAA of Western and Central New York
Halloween is full of treats, but the holiday, unfortunately, comes with its share of tricks, too. It’s a busy night on the roads – and the worst night for vandalism. AAA Western and Central New York is reminding motorists to be on the lookout for pedestrians this coming weekend, to celebrate responsibly and to make sure your home and vehicle are protected against any tricks.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports Halloween is consistently one of the top three days for pedestrian injuries and fatalities, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates children are four times more likely to be struck by a motor vehicle on Halloween than any other day of the year. Because excited trick-or-treaters often forget about safety, motorists and parents must be even more alert.
Home owners should also take step such as keeping houses well-lit and vehicles parked in lighted areas to avoid vandalism.
“Property vandalism and injuries tend to spike on Halloween night,” said Stacey McConnell, vice president of insurance for AAA Western and Central New York. “It’s important to make sure you’re covered for whatever 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 & Batman
Drive slowly and be on the lookout for creatures that seem to come out of nowhere. Turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances. 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 vandals away while providing safe passage to guests and trick-or-treaters. Keep walkways and stairs clear of debris and make sure they’re well-lit.
Beware the Brew
Serve nonalcoholic beverages and food along with your preferred potion. Stop serving alcohol at least one hour before any gathering ends.
•CDC’s tips to keep everyone safe during COVID-19:
This year, COVID-19 presents more challenges for trick-or-treaters to be safe. According to the Center for Disease Control, it’s also flu season, so children and their parents should be extra vigilant to ensure everyone stays heathy this 2020 Halloween.
Make trick-or-treating safer:
√ Wear a mask.
√ Make your cloth mask part of your costume.
√ A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.
√ Do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. It can make breathing more difficult.
√ Masks should not be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing.
√ Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you.
√ Indoors and outdoors, you are more likely to get or spread COVID-19 when you are in close contact with others for a long time.
√ Bring hand sanitizer with you and use it after touching objects or other people.
√ Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
√ Parents: supervise young children using hand sanitizer.
√ Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home and before you eat any treats.
√ Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
√ Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
√ Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.
√ Wash hands before handling treats.
As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 887,000 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.