Before you head out to that hayride or pumpkin patch, take some extra precautions this Halloween by heeding some of our monstrously helpful driving tips!
- R.I.P. Distractions.There will be enough distractions on Halloween without adding your cell phone or music players into the mix. While you may really want to crane your neck to look at passers-by in costume, remember that anything that takes your concentration off the road is a distraction.
- Watch Out for the Little Monsters. Pay attention to what's happening on sidewalks and roadways. Watch for children darting across streets, especially between parked cars. Be extra alert when pulling in and out of driveways and do not assume children can see you or are paying attention. They’re probably too focused on their hordes of candy. Also don’t pass other vehicles that have stopped in the road, they could be dropping off children.
- Be Afraid of the Dark. If possible, switch your rear view mirror to its night setting. By changing the angle of the reflective surface, the lights reflecting in the mirror will appear to be dimmed. Also, when in doubt, turn on your headlights, even if they don’t help you see better, they'll make it easier for other drivers to see you. When driving through back woods use your high beams but be sure not to blind oncoming traffic.
- Take Off the Mask. When driving to that Halloween party, put your mask on after you park the car. A mask can actually impair your field of vision and this could lead to an accident.
- Slow Down to a Creepy Crawl. Reduce your speed and increase your following distances. Driving too fast is more dangerous after dark than during the day because it is more difficult to judge other vehicles’ speeds and distances at night. Traveling at high speeds doesn't allow you enough time or distance to stop when you see something dangerous on the road ahead, so stay well below the posted speed limit.
- Beware of the Woods. When planning to travel to a wooded area, check the condition of your tires. You’ll need them to be at the proper pressure and tread depth to ensure that you won’t get stuck in any unforeseen mud or muck. A tire gauge should indicate they are inflated properly before you get on the road. You should also see even wear and good tread depth according to the “penny test.” Insert a penny in the tread, Lincoln’s head down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tread is worn and tire probably needs to be replaced. You should also check the tire pressure in the spare tire you keep in your trunk. After all, no one wants to be stuck in the woods with a flat tire on the scariest night of the year!
Additionally, want your children to have fun but you also want them to be safe. Here’s our Halloween Safety Top Ten.
- Don’t talk to strangers and always use the buddy system.
- Watch for cars and look both ways before crossing the street
- Wear or carry an item that glows in the dark to be more visible. Children should be seen on Halloween.
- If your child’s costume is not flame retardant, make a special reminder to stay away from luminaries and candles.
- Remind your teen about the rules of distracted driving – especially on fun nights like this.
- If possible – give your older child a cellphone so they can have a direct link to you
- Map the route that your child will be taking so that you can have an idea where they will be at certain times
- Be vigilant around your own neighborhood
- Make sure to inspect candy for your little ones. It’s best to stick to the individually-wrapped kind
- Have fun but be safe.