Children excitedly look forward to Halloween, but the evening can also turn into one of frightening statistics — and every parent’s nightmare. According to Safekids.org, child pedestrians are more than two times as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other time of year. Children tend to be less experienced with safety precautions. Add that to the excitement of dressing up in costume and the lure of more candy, and it’s no wonder that children tend to pay less attention when they are crossing the road. As a result, many of those fatalities will take place at spots where there is no crosswalk.
While you can’t always predict children’s actions, you can take extra precautions to help keep the young trick-or-treaters on the road safe during the Halloween holiday. Nicholas / Tobin Insurance would like to share these driving safety tips for those who plan to be on the road on Halloween night.
DRIVING SAFETY TIPS FOR HALLOWEEN
Slow down. Reduce your speed to below the posted speed limit in residential areas on Halloween. There are a lot more children on the road on Halloween. Many of them won’t be accompanied by parents, but will instead be in groups of friends. Without parents to remind them of traffic safety rules, they’re probably paying less attention to their surroundings. They’re also more likely to behave unpredictably. On Halloween, children are less likely to cross the roads in intersections where there are crosswalks. They may dart out into the road without paying attention as to whether a car is coming. Parked cars and Halloween displays in yards can also make it difficult to see a child about to step into your path.
Stay alert and avoid distractions. With so many child pedestrians on the streets on Halloween, it’s especially important for us to stay aware of our surroundings. Turn off your cell phone, and keep your eyes on the road at all times. Make sure to scan the sides of the road as well. Remember that costumes and masks can also limit children’s ability to see your car.
Turn on your headlights earlier than usual. While it would certainly be helpful to drivers if children dressed in light colored costumes that reflected better in headlights, the reality is that most Halloween costumes tend to be dark. Putting your headlights on earlier in the evening will help you better see children at a distance. Dark costumes are much more difficult to see at dusk and dark. Those moving shadows could easily be a child.
Pay extra attention when entering or exiting driveways. Children don’t necessarily stay on the sidewalk or the side of the road when they are trick-or-treating. They often run across driveways to get to the next house faster. If you have to leave your house on Halloween, back out of your garage very slowly. A child that is running across your driveway may not appear in your back up camera when you first start to reverse out of your driveway. If you’re not paying attention, they could run right into your path.
Don’t pass vehicles that are stopped on the side of the road. Often times, vehicles that are stopped means children are getting dropped off. Stop and assess the situation carefully before you pass. Children leaving that vehicle could run out into the road right in front of you. If you are dropping off children, put on your hazard lights and look in all directions before allowing them to exit the car.
We hope that these Halloween driving safety tips will be helpful to all of those who plan to be on the road that evening. And, just in case, we’d like to also offer you this reminder of the steps to take if you do happen to get into a car accident.
Nicholas /Tobin Insurance, located in New Milford, Connecticut, provides its clients the highest quality insurance products and services available today to protect them, their families, and businesses. We offer homeowners insurance, renters insurance, car insurance, business insurance, travel insurance and more! Our commitment to service means our team of licensed insurance professionals is here to help with simple policy questions, consult with you to determine appropriate coverages and be available 24/7 when trouble strikes and you need assistance managing through the claim process.