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Halloween and the threat of reckless drivers

The northeast chapter of AAA offers some safety tips for those who are going to be out for Halloween night. Parents and partygoers alike in North Carolina will want to review this information so that they can reduce accident risks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that the time between 6 p.m. on Oct. 31 and 6 a.m. on Nov. 1 are the peak hours for drunk-driving crashes.

Of all the fatal traffic crashes that took place between that 12-hour period from 2012 to 2016, 44 percent involved at least one drunk driver. In 2016, nearly half of those accidents were caused by people between 21 and 34 years old. On the other hand, no pedestrians were killed on Halloween night 2016.

Parents will want to plan the trick-or-treating route beforehand and tell their children to always cross at crosswalks. To make their children visible, they could put a reflective tape or other material on the costumes. The kids should use a flashlight and walk facing traffic if on a road without a sidewalk. Children under 12 years old are best accompanied by an adult.

As for older partygoers, it's important to designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride-hailing service. They should arrange for safe transportation for drunk friends, too. When driving, they are advised to slow down.

If a drunk or reckless driver causes a car accident, they will be responsible for the other side's financial losses. An injured victim could be compensated for medical bills, lost wages from missed work, pain and suffering and more. Legal counsel could help with the filing process.

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