For kids and adults alike, one of the highlights of the fall season is Halloween. Children, of course, love getting dressed up in a fun costume, going trick-or-treating, and collecting (and eating) lots of tasty treats. Adults love to get in on the fun, too, with elaborate lawn decorations, theme parties, and creepy costumes of their own.
While everyone wants to have a good time celebrating, it’s important to maximize safety – especially those of us who are driving on the busy Halloween night. Here are some road safety tips to help you drive safely on Halloween.
Is it safe to drive on Halloween?
While there can be more hazards to contend with when driving on Halloween, that doesn’t mean it still can’t be safe – as long as you take the proper precautions. Here are some things to remember when you’re behind the wheel on October 31:
It almost goes without saying that many people may be out walking around trick-or-treating on Halloween. Typically quiet streets might teem with kids and adults strolling without much regard for traffic. As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says, “Slower speeds save lives.” Remember that people in costume might not be able to hear or see you as well as they normally would, especially if they’re wearing a mask, a helmet, or some other head covering.
Driving at a safe speed isn’t just a good idea for Halloween, however. As the weather turns cooler and falling leaves cover the road, it’s useful to keep in mind fall driving tips to maximize your safety whenever you’re behind the wheel.
Halloween fun involves scares and surprises, but drivers don’t want to be scared or surprised by someone suddenly appearing in their vehicle’s path. Aside from slowing down and giving pedestrians a wide berth, be prepared for kids (or grownups) to dart between parked cars, from behind trees, or through bushes. Likewise, be mindful of kids who may have gotten separated from their group and aren’t focused on oncoming vehicles, and little ones who may have tripped in the dark and couldn’t get themselves to safety immediately.
Put your phone away
Most people know by now that using your phone while driving without a hands-free device is dangerous and, depending on your location and the circumstances, illegal. Devoting your full attention to safe driving is especially important on Halloween, with many extra kids and adults out and about. If you need to send a text, input directions, or do anything else requiring your hands on the phone, find a safe place to pull over and park first.
Watch out for unsafe drivers
It’s up to all of us to do our part to keep our roads and streets safe. If you see a vehicle being driven erratically by a driver who could be inebriated, don’t wait for someone else to take care of it – contact law enforcement to report it. More than 30 people are killed each year in Halloween-night drunk driving crashes. Drunk drivers could be on the road at any time, so if you see something dangerous, let the police know.