All kinds of ghouls and goblins come out on All Hallows’ Eve, but the most dangerous part of Halloween is always car accidents. With an influx of both drunk drivers and young pedestrians on the road, it can be a scary time to drive.
If you need to get behind the wheel on the October holiday, we have some safety tips you should keep in mind:
It may seem simple, but the number 1 safety tip for Halloween is to slow down. AAA encourages drivers to give themselves extra time by driving at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit at all times. Slowing down is especially important in and around neighborhoods and on residential streets.
Don’t Drink and Drive
According to Consumer Reports, drunk driving incidents increase on Halloween, and about 41% of fatal Halloween accidents involve alcohol. Don’t be part of the problem. Instead, plan for another way home if you have even one drink. Remember, any amount of alcohol can impair.
Similarly, if you see an intoxicated driver or pedestrian on the road, contact local law enforcement. Your actions could save someone’s life.
Put Your Phone Away
From kids in costume to haunted house décor, Halloween is filled with distractions. Eliminate one of the biggest distractions in your vehicle by keeping your handheld electronic devices out of sight and out of mind. Never use your cell phone or mobile device while driving. If you need to answer a call or send a text, simply find a safe space to pull over.
Keep Kids Safe
Whether you are dealing with children inside or outside of the car, you need to take steps to keep them safe.
Inside of the Car
If you have kids inside your car, make sure they are buckled up appropriately. Younger children still need car seats, and every passenger needs a seatbelt. Even if you’re just going down the block, make sure everyone is buckled in – only start the next trip when everyone is safe, secure, and ready to go.
Costumes can make seatbelts hard to buckle and interfere with car-seat harnesses. If your child cannot buckle up safely in their costume, have them change when they get to their destination or pick a different outfit.
When you stop the car for trick or treating, make sure you choose a safe spot and have children exit at the curb and away from traffic. Keep your hazard lights on to alert other drivers. Avoid backing up if you can, and if you have to reverse, ask another adult to stand outside and ensure no children are in the way when you do.
Outside of the Car
Even if you don’t have children, you will likely encounter many on Halloween. Keep your headlights on at all times and watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs. Increase your scanning into yards and front porches and keep an eye out for children crossing the street. Children may cross quickly and at unexpected locations, like the middle of the block or in between cars. When one child crosses the road, wait for a while, as there are typically several more behind. Always yield to young pedestrians and use extra caution when entering or exiting driveways and alleys.
If you see a car stopped on the roadway, assume children are getting in and out of the vehicle and do not try to pass. Waiting for a few extra minutes could save lives.
Not everyone will follow our safety tips on Halloween, so you need to expect the unexpected. Be careful of drunk or distracted drivers and try to anticipate potential accidents before they happen.
If someone else causes an accident before you can respond to or avoid it, however, you should not have to face the consequences alone.
Our team at MR Civil Justice helps make sure you don’t have to.