Halloween Driving Tips
No Crashes this Halloween Season!
According to both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Halloween is one of the three deadliest days for pedestrians. And it’s not hard to understand why. During Halloween, kids everywhere take to the streets for their annual trick-or-treat activity. And when there are plenty of kids, there’s always the tendency for unforeseen circumstances, particularly because kids have unpredictable behavior.
To make this year’s Halloween safer for everyone, here are a few helpful driving tips from your local collision center in Billings.
Stay Safe this Halloween
- Drive slowly in residential neighborhoods, and try to stay closer to the middle of the street. Whatever the speed limit is, you’ll be better off driving slower than what’s allowed so you’ll have plenty of time to react when a child or a group of children suddenly decide to cross the street from out of nowhere. At a slower speed, it will be easier to avoid a collision. And in case it’s totally unavoidable, the impact will be significantly less severe compared to hitting someone while driving at a faster rate.
- Turn your headlights on so you’ll be more visible to pedestrians, and kids in costumes (especially dark costumes which many will surely be dressed in) will be more visible to you. It’s also a smart idea to make your car stand out by using a blinking LED on your mirror, or putting a bright Jack-O-Lantern on your dashboard (take it down when outside residential areas, and make sure it doesn’t block your view). This serves a dual purpose of letting your car become more visible to everyone in general, and to your kid in particular so he/she will know it’s your car and will not likely make the mistake of getting into the wrong car or worse, a stranger’s car.
- Be extra careful when entering and getting out of driveways. Make sure no one’s on your path, particularly small kids who are so easy to miss in the dark.
- Scan the area continuously. Pay extra attention to intersections, curbs, crosswalks and side streets. Like we said, kids are naturally unpredictable. Combined with their excitement for going trick or treating, it’s not surprising to see them running around without any care in the world except how to get more candy. If you see any kind of movement, anticipate that it may be a kid, and react accordingly.
- If you’re dropping off trick-or-treaters, make sure they’re safe the whole time, starting from the time they enter the car, while they’re in the car (buckled in/wearing a seatbelt), and when they get out of the car. Don’t pull over unless you’re sure the spot is safe, with no danger of anyone being run over because it’s too dark to see or there’s unavoidable traffic. And don’t forget to turn on your hazard lights so other motorists will be alerted of your parked car.
- Don’t use your mobile phone or any other electronic device while driving. In our current setting, this is has now become one of the most important driving safety tips. Distracted driving is dangerous in itself. And it’s doubly dangerous during Halloween. If you have to answer a call or check a text message, pull over before doing so. Seriously though, it’s 2016, we shouldn’t have texting and driving anymore.
- Don’t indiscriminately pass vehicles that are stopped. Observe first and make sure there aren’t any children being dropped off from the vehicle to avoid hitting anyone.
- When you see children in the middle of the road, just stop and yield. They’re kids so they’re not really expected to stop when they see a car. All they’re thinking about right now is candy and lots more candy. So avoiding a mishap will be entirely up to you.
Big Sky Collision Center says, “Be Safe!”
The best way to avoid hitting a child is to simply not drive on Halloween. If it can be avoided, don’t get in your car and walk where you need to go (pay extra attention so you aren’t hit!). As usual, if you need auto body work, or just a car detailing, bring it to the best auto body shop in Billings!
Enjoy this year’s Halloween and stay safe everyone!