Halloween Safety Tips for Florida Drivers
Halloween is a wonderful holiday, but because of increased foot traffic and that Trick-or-Treater’s are out at night, the potential for automobile related accidents with young pedestrians increases four times on this night according to a CDC (Center for Disease Control) study.
Streets are literally crawling with all sorts of witches, ghosts, goblins, vampires and all other sorts of costumed people. This makes for added responsibility for drivers to make sure that they drive safer than normal.
In many areas, people drive their kids into subdivisions and let them out to walk from house to house. Usually the parent follows behind in the car. This can cause traffic jams in small areas and much confusion as kids dart between cars on the streets going from house to house. A driver is already distracted because they are trying to keep an eye on their own kids and usually aren’t paying attention to much else.
Children and adults tend to be preoccupied and may not pay as much attention to safety as they should. They may not see your vehicle or just assume that you see them automatically. Stay on the defensive and you shouldn’t have a problem while driving on Halloween night.
- Don’t use a cell phone or other electronic device while driving on Halloween night. You shouldn’t be doing this anyway, the rate of cell phone related auto accidents has jumped dramatically since the use of cell phones and texting has risen so high. Some states have already made laws concerning this and others are working on it.
- Pay extra attention, particularly to crosswalks, intersections and the side of the road. Kids tend to walk along the curbs, cutting across the street to get to other homes. Keep scanning all around you as you drive, whether as thru traffic or along with your kids as they trick-or-treat.
- Drive below the posted speed limit in residential areas during trick-or-treating hours. This will allow you time to break if you see a child dart in front of you.
- Do not pass other vehicles that have stopped in the roadway, they could be dropping off children. This is more common in rural areas but can happen anywhere.
- Instruct your child to never get into the car of a stranger. It might be easy for your child to mistake someone else’s car your car with the excitement of Halloween. Put a lighted plastic Jack-O-Lantern on your dashboard to make your car more recognizable to your child.
- It’s also a night that child predators are looking for victims. Let your child know that they should never get into the car of a stranger at any time. If someone stops them and asks for help or offers them candy, tell them to scream as loud as they can and run.
- Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars. Let them know if they carry a flash light to never shine it in the eyes of a driver. This can cause blindness on the driver’s part temporarily and they may not see your child.
- If you are dropping off or picking up your kids in an area, pull off the road into a safe spot and turn on your hazard lights to alert other motorists. If you go with your kids from door to door, leave the hazard lights on so other drivers can see your car parked there.
Source: Centers for Disease Control