5 driving tips for a safe Halloween

By Goodwin Como, P.C.

As summer turns into fall, you are likely planning to celebrate a slew of holidays. The first one, Halloween, is sure to help you create memories that your children cherish forever. Of course, if your car collides with a pedestrian, your festive Halloween can quickly turn into a nightmare.

In 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the number of potential trick-or-treaters in the United States to be more than 41 million. With so many kids going door-to-door and crossing streets, you have an increased chance of injuring one in an automobile-pedestrian accident. To ensure your spooky night remains fun, consider the following five driving tips:

1. Drive under the posted limit

The speed limit on most roads in residential areas in Pennsylvania is usually 35 miles per hour. On Halloween, though, AAA recommends reducing your vehicle’s speed by at least five miles per hour. Doing so decreases your stopping distance and increases your odds of spotting a child darting across the road.

2. Broaden your scope

When you drive, you likely look at the area in front of your vehicle. You probably also scan for objects in your periphery. On Halloween, though, try to broaden your field of vision. Pay attention to driveways, yards and porches to anticipate child movement.

3. Look twice before entering roadways

If you must back out of a driveway or turn into an alleyway, look twice. Because there are more pedestrians on Halloween than on other days, you may encounter a group of children where pedestrians do not typically walk. Also, stash your smartphone to avoid a distracted driving accident.

4. Remember costumes may be dark

As you likely know, dark clothing may make a costumed youngster blend into the night. Therefore, always scan crosswalks, curbs, shoulders and other places for children who may be difficult to see.

5. Increase your visibility

Trick-or-treaters may start their quest to find candy before the sun sets. Accordingly, try to make your car more visible by turning on its headlights, even during daytime hours. Further, after dark, consider turning on your headlights a few seconds before you begin to drive. This alerts pedestrians to the location of your vehicle before it becomes dangerous.

Even though Halloween is a tremendous amount of fun, it can turn deadly for pedestrians. Fortunately, with a bit of effort and some careful driving, you can ensure that you do not injure a child in an automobile accident.