For children, safely walking door-to-door and following all posted pedestrian guidelines on Halloween is typically the last thing on their mind. Instead, their main concern is putting together the perfect costume and collecting as much candy as possible within the two-hour trick-or-treating timeframe.
But while Halloween is an exciting time for a child, it can be frightening for a motorist. With so many children in costume roaming neighborhood streets at night, the risk of being involved in an accident is increased.
However, by exercising caution behind the wheel and practicing safe driving habits this time of year, you can help cut down on the number of Halloween-related injuries that occur from distracted driving.
Take Driving Pre-Caution Before and After October 31
In the past, trick-or-treating was always held the last day of October, regardless if fell on a weekday or weekend. But now, some municipalities are opting to hold the holiday earlier or later than October 31 to cater to school schedules.
Because of this, it’s important to exercise caution a few days before and after Halloween. If possible, though, check with your community – and those you drive through on a regular basis – to find out when the local Halloween festivities will be held.
This way you’re not taken by surprise and can adjust your driving route, if necessary, to avoid heavy pedestrian areas.
Be Aware that Some Kids May be Difficult to See
Most Halloween-related pedestrian injuries are the direct result of drivers being unable to see a child because of the dark color of his or her costume.
While reflective tape can help increase visibility, statistics show that only 18% of parents adorn it to the front and back of their child’s costume, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. And since children are likely to walk with traffic, instead of against it, they can be more difficult to see on Halloween.
As a result, drive at least five miles per hour under the speed limit on any street where houses are located – regardless if it’s a residential or main road – and actively scan for trick-or-treaters.
Assume Children Will Dart in Front of Your Carf
If you have to drive through neighborhoods with a high volume of Halloween foot traffic, be prepared to make quick and unexpected stops since the behavior and movement of children can be erratic.
Since a child is most likely in a hurry to get to the next house, he or she may run in front of your vehicle rather than looking both ways before slowly crossing an intersection at a crosswalk.
Thus, make sure you obey all traffic signs and signals and turn on your headlights before dusk so you can spot trick-or-treaters as early as possible.
For more driving tips, or to ensure that vehicle’s brakes are ready to make swift and sudden stops on Halloween, give Andy’s Auto Service in Bridgeville a call at 412-478-9304, or visit the website.