In a matter of only three weeks, the streets will be flooded with tiny gremlins, ghosts, princesses, and witches screaming at the top of their lungs. Halloween ushers in the start of the holiday rush during the last three months of the year, and kids couldn’t be more excited—of course, that’s mostly the candy and sugar’s fault.
It’s important that drivers stay on high alert as they are coming home from work, going to their own Halloween parties, or picking up that extra bag of candy. Although most kids will be accompanied by a parent or older sibling, the focus will be on candy, not paying attention to their surroundings.
If you have to drive during Halloween, do your part and adhere to the following 5 trick-or-treat safety tips while you’re behind the wheel.
Tip #1: Triple Check When Backing Out of Your Driveway
Children rarely think about the hazards that are involved with driving a vehicle. They usually assume the driver can always see them and predict what they are going to do next.
Before backing into or out of your driveway, stop the vehicle and make sure the coast is clear. Don’t completely rely on your side or rearview mirrors. Instead, turn your head to look in all directions before proceeding to press the gas pedal.
Tip #2: Drive Slowly Near Corners and Crosswalks
Driving slowly should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway. It can’t be overstated enough. However, it’s most important to bring your vehicle to a crawl when driving near corners and crosswalks.
The sheer lack of vision around corners and the presence of children running along crosswalks is enough to keep many drivers off the road during Halloween. Although bright pink princesses and orange pumpkins can easily be seen, a lot of Halloween costumes are dark and spooky–and therefore hard to see. Be extra careful around these areas.
Tip #3: Drive With Your Windows Down
Depending on the temperature, it’s a smart idea to drive with your windows down so you can hear the noise of children screaming and playing as they go door-to-door asking for candy. Using your sense of hearing can increase your awareness of children nearby.
Tip #4: Don’t Get Distracted
It’s already hard enough staying focused while on the road in the middle of the day. But during Halloween, distractions increase exponentially as some houses go all-out with scary decorations.
As you drive through a neighborhood, don’t take your eyes off the road by changing the music, checking your phone, or engaging in deep conversation. These things can wait until you arrive at your destination. Stay focused–someone’s life might depend on it.
Tip #5: Use Your Lights and Signals No Matter What
The first thing you’ll want to do after getting into your car is turn your headlights on. Even if the sun hasn’t completely set yet, your vehicle is still more visible with its lights on. Although every driver has forgotten to use their turn signals before, it’s imperative that you make sure you use them during Halloween.
Ensure that drivers are aware of what you are doing at all times to eliminate any guesswork that may put a child’s life in danger. Make sure you use your turn signal when pulling into your driveway as well.