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Avoiding drunk and reckless drivers on Halloween

Florida residents who will be partying on Halloween or sending their children off to trick-or-treat should know of the real dangers that arise during that night, especially those posed by drunk and reckless drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that most people are killed in drunk-driving crashes between 6 p.m. on Oct. 31 and 6 a.m. on Nov. 1.

Between 2012 and 2016, 44 percent of all fatal traffic crashes that occurred within this 12-hour period involved at least one drunk driver. On Halloween night 2016, nearly half of the drunk drivers who caused a crash were between the ages of 21 and 34. To address this risk, the northeast chapter of AAA has offered up some effective safety tips.

For example, AAA suggests that those who drink even one alcoholic beverage will want to designate a sober driver to take them home. Other options are to use public transportation or call up a ride-hailing service. If a friend is drunk, others should take the car keys and arrange for safe transportation home. When driving, it's important to slow down.

Parents should ensure that their children's costumes are easy to see at night. If possible, one could make a costume more visible with reflective material and equip children with flashlights. Also, it's wise to plan a trick-or-treating route. Children younger than 12 should be accompanied by an adult.

Someone who incurs a personal injury through no fault of their own may be eligible for compensation. A personal injury claim could cover losses like medical bills. If the other side was drunk or reckless, the victim could also sue for punitive damages. Auto insurance companies are aggressive in denying payment, though, so a victim (or their parents if they are children) may want to retain a lawyer. The lawyer can negotiate for a settlement and litigate as a last resort.

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