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Trick-or-treaters, beware. The scariest place to be on Halloween isn't a cemetery or haunted house: it's on the road with an impaired or distracted driver. Safety experts warn that with so many children outside in the dark and many adults attending parties, the consequences of careless driving are even more severe.
“Halloween is really the perfect storm,” says Karen Benner, spokesperson for Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. “You have low light conditions, large groups of excited children in the street, adults who have been celebrating and drivers who may not be paying full attention.” Benner's fears are not unfounded: recent statistics show that 80 per cent of car collisions are caused by distracted drivers, and 20 per cent of traffic fatalities among children occurred after they ran into the street.
According to MADD Canada, four Canadians are killed and 190 are injured each day in impaired driving crashes. “These actions, and their tragic consequences, are 100 per cent preventable,” says Denise Dubyk, national president of MADD Canada.
“If you're hosting a party, provide options for safe travel home directly on the party invitations: public transit, taxi services or having a dedicated designated driver for guests are great options,” says Dubyk. “As a guest, make your feelings about impaired driving known—friends don't let friends drink and drive.”
Parents can help keep their trick-or-treaters safe this Halloween by ensuring they are visible to drivers. Allstate Canada offers these safety tips from goodhandsadvice.ca:
•Bring a flashlight with you;
•Make sure Halloween costumes and masks don't obstruct your child's vision;
•Stick reflective tape to shoes, gloves, costumes and candy bags;
•Stay close to your kids at all times and keep clear of the road.