Halloween is a thrilling holiday for kids–wandering from house to house, collecting candy–and a recipe for great memories. But it also means drivers have to be extra alert.
Here’s how you can avoid any scary surprises if you find yourself driving down a busy street filled with costumed revellers on October 31.
Be extra observant – Pay close attention to your surroundings, and continuously scan the roadside for pedestrians. If you’re driving during peak trick-or-treating hours in an urban or suburban area, you will likely see a sharp increase in foot traffic, most of which will be young pedestrians. Children wearing dark costumes won’t necessarily be easy to see. They also may be too young to be well-versed on the rules of the road (or may simply forget them). You never know when a small, excited child could jump into view, so keep that in mind as you travel.
Take extra caution – Always be sure to maintain the speed limit in busy areas—or even drive below it. Try not to pass cars that are stopped in the road. Some experts recommend avoiding driving altogether during peak trick-or-treating times if you can.
Remember the basics – All those best practices you learned back when you took your first road test to earn your license? Those still apply – and become especially important on nights like these. Being a model driver will help you protect yourself and others. Don’t forget to signal, cover your brake pedal when you’re passing through a crosswalk, and make eye contact with pedestrians to let them know you have seen them.
Ensure your car is in good working order – Staying up to date on routine maintenance, such as getting brakes and fluids checked regularly, will help prevent surprises on the road.
Especially on busy nights like Halloween, a well-maintained vehicle will be better equipped to give you reliable performance. It will ensure your driving is smooth and predictable for all the young ghosts and goblins (and parents) exploring the neighbourhood around you.
Don’t get distracted! – Put your phone away, don’t fiddle with the radio, and don’t reach into the backseat to grab a treat from your child’s pillowcase. Tonight, you need to keep your eyes peeled, and your focus on the road. If you’re driving your children from house to house (instead of walking on foot), drive slowly, steer carefully, park in designated parking spots, and avoid blocking lanes or creating blind spots for others.
Save the costume for the party – If you have a costume that prevents you from seeing clearly, completing a good shoulder check, or is otherwise distracting – keep it off until you get to your destination. Even getting a lock of hair in your eye from a novelty wig can cause a split-second distraction.
Bring an extra set of eyes – It’s increasingly common these days for motorists to bring dashcams along with them any time they drive. Having an easy-to-use device mounted on your windshield or dashboard allows you to record everything that’s going on in front of you. That means, if you do encounter any sort of incident—whether it involves you or not—you’ll have a reliable video recording available afterward.
Halloween is meant to be an exciting time. And if you’re behind the wheel, you can ensure the night stays fun by being extra vigilant, using your best driving etiquette and taking a few extra precautions. That way, the only scary part of the evening will be tallying up just how many candy bars your children brought home.