On Halloween, we’re expecting more treats than tricks. However, with small children, darkly-clad teens and drunk bar-crawlers roaming the streets, this spooky night can be especially hazardous for drivers.
Children are twice as likely to be hit by a car during Halloween and 23 percent of all pedestrian fatalities on Halloween happen at the hands of a drunk driver. If you’re going to be behind the wheel on the 31st, follow these guidelines to stay safe.
Keep your eyes on the road
Some houses go a little crazy with their Halloween decorations. With flashing lights, spooky sounds and pop up figures, it can be difficult to keep your eyes forward while driving on Halloween. But, it’s important to either pull over or resist the temptation to look. Small children may walk into the road without looking, which could cause a horrible accident if you are watching.
Similarly, resist the urge to take any photos of Halloween displays while you are operating a moving vehicle.
Pull over and park while trick-or-treating
If you have very young children, you may be driving from house to house instead of walking. If you do this, make sure you to pull over and come to a complete stop. Look both ways before opening doors or climbing out of the vehicle into the street.
Do not encourage children to jump out of the vehicle in the middle of the street while the car is running. It is unlawful to block traffic in this way and very dangerous for children who may be rushing. Forgetting to look both ways or tripping and falling could put them in a vulnerable position to other cars.
Avoid backing up
Small children may go undetected while you put your car in reverse. For this reason, try to park by pulling forward into a parking space or using the side of the road to avoid backing up into a small or hard-to-see pedestrian.
Watch out for terrifying teens!
Teens and adults tend to gravitate toward scarier costumes. Most of the time, scary doesn’t come in neon colors. Drive slowly and keep your eyes peeled for dark figures. Teenagers and intoxicated adults who are celebrating may not be practicing the best judgment on this night.
Avoid the bar areas
Adults celebrate Halloween too! One popular way to enjoy Halloween is to attend themed bar crawls. A zombie bar crawl could be a driver’s worst nightmare. As intoxicated adults — usually dressed in costume — wonder in the streets from bar to bar, drivers should exercise extreme caution. If possible, try to avoid driving in these areas altogether.
Practice defensive driving
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) findings have indicated that there are more fatal drunk driving accidents likely on Halloween than New Years. If you are a new or inexperienced driver, it’s a good idea to refrain from driving on Halloween. For other drivers, practice defensive driving strategies to avoid an accident caused by a drunk or distracted driver.
If you or your child are hurt due to a negligent party on Halloween night, seek medical attention immediately. From there, a skilled personal injury attorney can help you seek justice for undeserving pain and suffering.