Halloween is a seasonal holiday celebrated by many Americans, children and adults alike. To celebrate, many head to the street to trick-or-treat in colorful and spooky costumes. Halloween in 2020 may be different than previous years, with less pedestrians and more at home activities due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
However you decide to celebrate this year, it is important to put safety first as Halloween can be dangerous for drivers and pedestrians. To ensure the safest Halloween yet, consider following these five Halloween driving safety tips:
Halloween season or not, drivers should always obey posted speed limits, especially in residential areas and school zones. “Every driver on the road has a duty of reasonable care to prevent accidents and follow the traffic laws” note the Sacramento injury lawyers at Rosenthal Law, “be aware that there will be a lot more pedestrians on the roads to watch out for”.
During the spooky season, slow down in areas where pedestrians are likely to be or where sight distances are diminished. Consider driving 5 mph below the speed limit to provide extra time to react to children and parents that may dart into the street.
Avoid Using Handheld Devices
Even if a driver feels comfortable behind the wheel using handheld devices, it still threatens the safety of everyone on the road. Distracted driving can be visual, manual, cognitive, or all three: the best way to prevent distracted driving is to avoid distracted driving behaviors.
Anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road is considered a distracted driving behavior. Texting, using a GPS feature, or changing a music playlist are all examples of small, but serious driving distractions that could hold a driver responsible for a pedestrian accident.
Seat belts dramatically reduce the risk of death and serious injuries for drivers and passengers. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seatbelts saved an estimated 14,955 lives in 2017.
Ensure children are in the proper child safety seats, including booster seats and car seats. Consumer Reports recommends buying costumes without padding or hard surfaces to ensure child safety seats and seat belts fit snuggly. If a child’s costume includes padding or hard elements, consider changing the child into the costume after safely arriving at their destination.
Pull Over at Safe Locations
Drivers should always ensure drop-offs and pick-ups are done so in a safe location. Let passengers exit at the curb and far away from traffic. To ensure maximum visibility, consider using hazard lights to alert other drivers of your car.
Avoid Backing Up
If possible, drivers should attempt to park in situations where backing out is not required. Children are small and can be hard to see when backing out of parking spaces and driveways. If backing up is necessary, drivers should utilize mirrors and alert software to back up as slowly as possible, ensuring the safety of pedestrians.
Halloween can be dangerous for drivers and pedestrians given the added elements of darkness and low visibility on the road. This Halloween, utilize these five Halloween driving safety tips to ensure safety for everyone choosing to celebrate. Stay safe this spooky season!