Halloween is an exciting holiday for children and adults alike. However, it is a dangerous holiday that has the potential to turn tragic. Serious injuries can result from distracted drivers. Distracted driving is defined by the DMV as driving while not fully paying attention to the road. Distracted driving is especially problematic on Halloween due to the large number of school-aged children that are on the streets at night.
Children on Halloween are naturally excited and stimulated. They are out with friends running from house to house and full of sugar. This excitement may lead to them forgetting safety rules. They may not cross roads in intended areas. They may not look both ways before crossing a street. They may also rush out across a street to greet a friend.
At night, when trick-or-treating occurs, visibility can be diminished. Likewise, costumes may include dark colors making pedestrians less visible. For these reasons, it is especially important that those operating motor vehicles are on “high alert.”
Unfortunately, on Halloween, there are several distractions for drivers. Drivers may be checking texts to coordinate with friends and others. Drivers may be using GPS to find new areas for trick-or-treating where they have never been. Drivers may be in new areas where they are unfamiliar with the roads. Drivers may be looking at Halloween decorations on houses. Drivers may be looking at the costumes of trick-or-treaters. Drivers may be managing several young children in their vehicles. All these things can cause a driver to divert their attention from the road. If a driver does this for a split second, a tragedy can occur.
Piccuta Law Group recommends that individuals consider these suggestions on Halloween for optimal safety and to prevent motor vehicle vs. pedestrian injuries.
- Trick or treat in large groups that are easily noticed
- Trick or treat in gated communities or areas where the roads are closed to thru traffic
- Wear bright colors and costumes that are highly visible
- Trick or treat early, before dark, when roads are less crowded and visibility is high
- Wear safety reflectors or incorporate reflective strips into costumes
- Carry flash lights, glow sticks or other light emitting objects
- Do not consume alcohol if you are a parent
- Keep your child close at all times
- Keep your attention on the road at all times
- Do not text, use GPS or talk on the phone while driving
- Pull over if you need to manage children in your vehicle-do not turn around to look in the back seat while driving
- Scan the sides of the roads and sidewalks for pedestrians
- Practice defensive driving and expect pedestrians to “dart out”
- Reduce your speed considerably in areas with high pedestrian traffic
- Be aware of the traffic and objects on all four sides of your vehicle
- Be on “high alert”
Following these safety tips will help keep you and your loved ones safe on Halloween. Happy Halloween!