Kids have been planning their Halloween costumes for weeks, and the day has finally arrived when they can run through the streets to scare neighbors and collect treats. While the night is packed with fun for tiny revelers, it can be a harrowing time for parents—especially with the number of inattentive drivers roaming the roads.
6 Tips to Remember Before You Drive on Halloween Night
Every year, several children are struck by cars on Halloween as a result of drunk or distracted drivers. Many of these accidents can be prevented with a few simple precautions (and a small amount of preparation). Drivers should consider the following before getting behind the wheel on Halloween:
- Stay home! The easiest way to avoid striking a pedestrian on Halloween is to stay home. If you throw or attend a party, make sure you encourage guests to arrive before or after peak trick-or-treating times (most cities have these times posted in advance). If you plan to drink at a party, do NOT drive yourself home.
- Think before setting off. Halloween is a prime time for backover accidents to occur, since children often run behind parked cars. Take extra care when exiting driveways and parking. Consider your own children, nieces, and nephews, and what you would want other drivers to do when sharing the road with them.
- Take it slow. Travel slowly through residential neighborhoods, and make sure you come to a complete stop at signs and traffic signals. It is a good idea to drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit during trick-or-treating in case distracted children suddenly dart in front of your car.
- Watch out for ghosts! Drivers are used to looking for pedestrians on sidewalks and in crosswalks, but on Halloween, children wear dark costumes, run across lawns, and even hide behind fences and cut through backyards. Be aware that the shapes moving in the shadows are likely small children who are not paying attention to moving vehicles, and be ready for sudden movements. Keep your headlights on, but avoid high beams, as they can make it more difficult for oncoming drivers to scan the roads.
- Expect the unexpected. On Halloween, children are excited, full of energy (and sugar), and thinking only about getting to the next house as fast as possible—even if it means running across the street. Kids in masks or hoods may be unable to see well, making it even more likely that they will not see your vehicle. Check the full range of your vision as you drive, and be ready to brake if you see sudden movement ahead.
- Stay vigilant from start to finish. Don’t lose your focus when you arrive at your destination, as parking carries its own hazards. If you can, park in the driveway rather than in the street to ease visibility for other drivers (and prevent children from crossing between cars).
You can help other drivers and keep your whole community safe! Please consider sharing this article on Facebook or via email to make sure all of the tiny ghouls and goblins in your neighborhood make it home safely on Halloween night.