DEARBORN, Mich. (WLNS) — Halloween celebrations will look different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. AAA is sending out its annual statewide “Trick or Treat Street Safety Alert” for children and adults but with new precautions due to coronavirus.
Halloween can be one of the most deadly nights of the year for both pedestrians and motorists with the increased number of pedestrians trick-or-treating, the risk of cell phone distraction while driving or walking and potentially impaired party goers behind the wheel. It makes for a frightening combination.
According to AAA, The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued guidance on how to safely celebrate Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these tips include:
- Do not hand out candy if you are sick
- Wear a face mask covering BOTH your mouth and nose
- Wash hands often
- Consider handing out candy in an open space where distancing is possible, rather than from the front door
For Parents and Trick-Or-Treaters
- Stay home if sick.
- Talk to your children about safety and social distancing guidelines and expectations. Keep a 6 foot distance from others not in your family group.
- Avoid congregating in groups around houses.
- Wear a face mask covering BOTH your mouth and nose. (Note: A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask).
Halloween is meant to be scary, but not when it comes to driving safety. AAA reports, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the number of deaths among young pedestrians (ages 5-14) is four times higher on Halloween evening than any other evening of the year. Several factors contribute to the increased risk of pedestrian injuries:
- Fewer daylight hours
- Distracted driving
- Increased number of pedestrians
- Trick-or-treaters crisscrossing streets
- Motorists traveling to and from Halloween events
The roads can turn into a horror fest and it is a particularly deadly night due to drunk or drugged drivers when you consider that 23% percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween involving a drunk driver.
“Halloween night is unlike any other evening because of the number of pedestrians on the road at the same time,” said Adrienne Woodland, spokesperson, AAA-The Auto Club Group. “And while Halloween may be slightly different this year, there’s still an increased risk of being injured or involved in a crash, and that’s before distractions and alcohol are added to the mix. We urge people who are out on Halloween to be alert, avoid distractions and always drive sober.”