BOISE – As millions of Americans get ready for Halloween parties and trick-or-treating in just a few days, AAA asks the public to keep safety top of mind.

Halloween is one of the deadliest days of the year, with children twice as likely to be killed by a car on Halloween night as on any other night of the year.  But community trunk-or-treat events and other activities are expected throughout the weekend, and drivers should be on high alert starting on Friday afternoon.

“This year, we really want to emphasize that kids and grown-ups will likely be celebrating Halloween on multiple days and at various locations.  We need cautious drivers who know what to expect,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “Ditching the distractions and celebrating responsibly need to be at the top of the list.”

Halloween Tips for Drivers

  • Never drive while under the influence, and if you’re not sure, err on the side of caution. Use a designated driver or a ride-hailing service like Uber or Lyft if necessary.
  • Actively scan the road. Children could dart into the street with little or no warning.
  • Be careful backing up. Most cars have a “blind zone,” even with a back-up camera.  Have someone stand outside and back you out if needed.
  • Avoid driving through residential neighborhoods whenever possible.

Tips for Parents and Children

  • Accompany small children and set a time limit for older kids to return. Use a buddy system so that no one walks alone.  Instruct children never to enter a home or garage to retrieve candy.
  • Costumes should allow children to see, be seen, and move quickly if necessary.
  • Cross streets at the corner. Avoid zig-zagging across the street as much as possible.

If you’re hosting a party this weekend, AAA reminds you to have a plan for your guests to stay safe by serving plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverage options, providing sleeping or ride-hailing accommodations as needed, or -if you’re sober – driving guests home yourself.

“Please watch your speed.  A pedestrian who is hit by a car traveling at 25 mph is twice as likely to survive as one who is hit by a vehicle traveling at 30 mph,” Conde said.  “Let’s make sure that the only scares are the ones that we’ve all planned for.”