AAA reminds motorists to watch for trick-or-treaters, drive sober this Halloween

Children look over the pumpkins in the pumpkin carving contest Saturday during the New Carlisle Halloween Night Market. Marshall Gorby/Staff

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Children look over the pumpkins in the pumpkin carving contest Saturday during the New Carlisle Halloween Night Market. Marshall Gorby/Staff

AAA is reminding drivers to watch out for pedestrians and to get a sober ride home from any parties and celebrations this Halloween weekend.

“With an increased risk of pedestrian crashes on Halloween night, AAA urges parents to take the time to make trick-or-treaters and their costumes safer and more visible to motorists,” said Kara Hitchens, public and government affairs manager of AAA. “In addition, motorists must eliminate distractions, slow down and watch for children, as well as have a completely sober designated driver if drinking is part of a Halloween celebration.”

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Last year, there were 25 crashing involving pedestrians, including two fatalities, between Oct. 28 and 31, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol data cited by AAA. The state recorded 2,755 crashes during that period, including eight fatalities and 635 injury crashes. Alcohol impairment was a factor in 97 of those crashes, according to OSHP data.

AAA recommends the following safety tips to motorists this Halloween:

  • Don’t use your phone while behind the wheel and remain focused on the road and trick-or-treaters.
  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods and follow all traffic signs and signals.
  • Broaden your scanning by looking for children left and right into yards and on front porches.
  • Watch for children crossing the street. Some children may not be paying attention or cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully, especially if backing up or turning.
  • Turn on headlights to make yourself more visible.
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For trick-or-treaters, AAA advised:

  • Stay on the sidewalk and avoid walking in the street. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
  • Look both ways and listen for traffic before crossing the street.
  • Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up.
  • Cross the street at corners, follow traffic signals and use cross walks. Don’t cross between parked vehicles or mid-block.
  • Trick or treat in a group if someone older can’t go with you.
  • Tell your parents or guardian where you are going.
  • Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries. Do not shine flashlights into incoming traffic.

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