The kids are back at school, another summer has just faded in the distance, and that means only one thing – Halloween’s around the corner. It’s a special time for pumpkin carving, dressing up in costumes, and coming face-to-face with make-believe ghouls and goblins. And, as a driver, it can be especially challenging, as children dash from house to house, across streets, not paying attention to traffic. And, you may be worried about your new car parked in the driveway, concerned how a “trick” could seriously affect your auto insurance rates.
Of course, along with all of the trick-or-treating and spooky décor comes a variety of safety issues and concerns that can turn this into a fun or a not-so-fun Halloween. You might choose to throw a party or attend one…or you might just take the kids out for an evening of family trick-or-treating. Just keep in mind, as is usually the case on this particular night, a lot of people will be on the roads; from drivers rushing home to be part of the family festivities to unattended and distracted older costumed children walking or running willy-nilly in the dark.
Because much of the activities take place when visibility is reduced due to nighttime, it’s important to pay extra attention and practice safe driving habits. By following some of the safety hints below, you can do your share to keep your family and friends out of harm’s way this Halloween.
1. When trick-or-treating with your children, try to stay in familiar neighborhoods and surroundings. Don’t stray too far into the unknown.
2. If trick-or-treating with your children out of your neighborhood, be sure to park and lock your car. Walk from house to house in neighborhoods where homes are close together and streets are well-lighted.
3. While walking, use designated crosswalks to cross the street. Don’t go between parked cars with your children. It teaches them bad and dangerous habits, as drivers may not see you in time to stop.
4. Have your children wear comfortable costumes so they won’t trip or fall as they move from house to house or cross the street.
5. Attach or have your children hold Halloween safety products, such as reflector strips or glow sticks to make them more visible to drivers in the dark.
6. Expect the unexpected when driving though residential neighborhoods. Take extra precaution by driving slowly and keeping your headlights on at all times; don’t pass stopped vehicles. The driver might be dropping off children.
7. Stay focused. Don’t drive distracted. That means…no cell phone use while behind the wheel.
8. Although you may want to create a spooky atmosphere, keep in mind that most trick-or-treaters are going to be small children who trip and fall easily. Turn on yard lights so a clear path is visible to your front door. Remove garden hoses and electrical cords from foot paths.
9. Always use your turn signals. And if you have to pull over to drop off or pick up your kids, turn on your hazard lights.
With a little extra care, everyone can have a fun and safe Halloween. After all, there’s no trick to being safe.
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