AAA Urges Adult Halloween Partygoers to Designate a Sober Driver

ORLANDO, Florida, October 26, 2009

Motor club says safe driving to and from parties will help ensure a happy Halloween

Erin SteppWith nearly one in three adults planning to attend or host a Halloween party this year, AAA urges partygoers to plan in advance by designating a sober driver before enjoying the festivities.

“Halloween has become an increasingly popular occasion for adults to host and attend parties where alcohol is frequently served. By designating a sober driver, or by choosing not to drink alcoholic beverages if driving solo, this popular holiday can be less frightening for everyone,” said Jake Nelson, director, AAA Traffic Safety Research and Advocacy.

According to the National Retail Federation, Halloween parties for adults have been growing in popularity over the past decade. This year about 30 percent of all adults will be celebrating with others, and an estimated sixty-two percent of those ages 18-24 will attend or host a party.

With legions of child pedestrians and their adult escorts in neighborhoods for trick-or-treating this weekend, and many costume-clad adults taking to the roads to attend holiday parties, it is imperative that everyone involved in the celebration think about the importance of traffic safety, AAA said.

Fifty-eight percent of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. on Halloween night last year involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, which is illegal in every state.

To help keep the roadways safe this Halloween weekend, AAA offers partygoers a few easy tips:

  • Designate a sober driver in advance. If intending to drink alcohol, plan ahead to get home safely by selecting a designated driver or ensuring cab service is available from the party location. Never ride with a driver who has been drinking.
  • Consider an overnight stay. If attending a party at a friend’s home, consider asking to stay overnight. If participating in festivities in a downtown or commercial area, look into hotel accommodations within walking distance. Many hotels offer special Halloween weekend rates and promotions.
  • Do not let impaired guests drive. If hosting a Halloween party, remind guests to plan ahead and designate their sober driver, offer alcohol-free beverages and do not allow impaired guests to drive. Prepare a list of local taxi companies in advance to have ready should guests need to call one.
  • Avoid traveling through residential areas. If possible, try to avoid cutting through residential areas where trick-or-treaters are likely to be present. If providing directions to a party, try not to route guests through residential areas unnecessarily.
  • Watch for children in the street. While trick-or-treating, children may not pay attention to traffic and might cross mid-block or between parked cars. Motorists should scan far ahead when driving in residential areas, watch for children and cautiously monitor their actions.
  • Obey the speed limit. Motorists should obey the posted speed limit. When driving through residential areas were trick-or-treaters are likely out, consider driving five miles per hour less than the posted speed limit.

For additional tips to keep Halloween safe, including tips for parents and trick-or-treaters, visit AAA.com/PublicAffairs.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

 

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