Although Halloween is intended to be fun for kids of all ages, without some special consideration and preparation, Halloween can quickly turn into tragedy. On average, twice as many kids are killed while out trick-or-treating on Halloween night compared to other days of the year.
While excited trick-or-treaters may forget the rules of the road and be oblivious to the hazards, we, as the adults must be vigilant
Help protect trick-or-treaters by following these driving safety tips on Halloween (Monday) or on the Saturday and Sunday before, when trick or treating, parties and community Halloween activities are in full swing. Take advantage of your community’s Halloween safety programs. Most communities offer Halloween activities for younger children that keep them out of harm’s way. Your community may also offer a service that inspects candy to ensure that it is safe for children to eat.
If your community is celebrating Halloween on Monday, be especially careful between 4 and 8 p.m., when commuters are on their way home. Most the most severe vehicle/young pedestrian collisions happen.
For those of you driving this Halloween season, our chauffeurs would like to help you keep your little ghosts and goblins safe. Below are a few safety tips to follow during the Halloween season:
1. Slow Down
Watch for children darting into the street. Kids can cross the street anywhere, and most young pedestrian deaths happen at spots other than intersections. And remember that it will be difficult to see children dressed in dark colors and in costumes that cover their eyes out walking on streets and roadways at dusk when many adults are still driving home from work.
This is the one day or night out of the year that you should drive well below the speed limit–especially in residential neighborhoods where the majority of trick or treating is done.
2. Be Careful Passing Stopped Vehicles
Before you assume that a vehicle in front of you is pulled over just to aggravate you, remember, it may be a parent dropping off a bunch of costumed kids. Like school bus drivers, be extra careful that a child doesn’t dart in front of your car, into an oncoming vehicle.
3. Use Your Hazard Lights
If you’re the designated driver dropping off the kids somewhere, throw on your hazard lights when you pull over so that other drivers see you letting children in and out of the car, and will hopefully slow down and drive more carefully.
4. Park your mobile phone.
One of the important Halloween driving tips is not to use any electronic device or mobile phones as you dare driving on the Halloween You simply have no excuse for letting yourself be distracted by your cellphone. Halloween night activity is, in and of itself, a big distraction when you are driving. Talking of your phone –hands free or otherwise – is particularly dangerous when excited little kids are running around. Avoid your risk by waiting until you’ve stopped, or even better, do what our chauffeurs always do: pull to the side of the road. Texting or surfing is so inappropriate on Halloween it is hard to imagine anyone would be so stupid – but watch out for them anyway. Nothing that happens on the road surprises us anymore.
5. Be Extra Vigilant When You See Kids
Yield to young pedestrians. Children might not stop, either because they don’t see your vehicle approaching or don’t know how to safely cross the street.
Remember, we are the adults. By definition, kids do stupid things. They can’t help it. They don’t look both ways, they dart into the street without looking, they’re easily distracted and on October 31st (this year a Monday), they’re all excited and reeved up from all the sugar they’ve ingested. Plus, if the child has a mask on, their vision is probably impaired as well.
So, anytime you see kids with costumes on, open your eyes, sit up and pay attention and again…slow down. Be careful of stragglers … they are interested only in getting back to their friends, street or no street. Please don’t assume children can
6. Enter & Exit Driveways Carefully
With gangs of candy junkies walking the sidewalks of your neighborhood, make sure you’re especially careful when pulling in and out of driveways. Please don’t assume children can see you or are paying attention. You need to take that responsibility.
Did I mention kids don’t pay attention and do stupid things? So do some adults. So, if you’re driving to a Halloween party, put that mask on after you park the car, avoid neighborhood shortcuts where trick or treaters are likely to be, drive sober, or have a designated driver lined up.
Your childrens’ safety is your responsibility whether in or out of the car on Halloween. So make a plan. Review trick-or-treat safety precautions and plan the route ahead of time. Remind children never to cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
And as always, buckle up. Don’t forego having your kids in their car seats even though “buckling up” takes time every time you stop.
On Halloween, your neighborhood will literally be swarming with children, and it’s your job to be sure they take their treats home safely. Trick-or-treating, a fun-filled activity that little ghosts and goblins look forward to, can quickly turn into tragedy.
Halloween can truly be a fun night full of great memories if you follow our chauffeurs’ advice and take a few steps to keep it safe and trouble free!