If you are going to be driving in a residential area tonight, it is suggested that you keep your speed slow. Tonight there will be dozens of children out and about, running across the street in excitement or dodging cars as they try to make it to the next house on the street. These children may be in hard-to-walk-in shoes, or may be wearing black costumes that camouflage in with the dark night. Children often trip when they are in constraining costumes, meaning drivers need to be adequately prepared for everything.
The sobering reality is that twice as many children are killed in pedestrian and vehicle accidents on Halloween between 4 and 10 p.m. than on any other day of the year. This is often because the kids are not dressed in costumes which allow them to stand out from the darkness around them or because the children are not adequately supervised and run out in front of cars on the street. As well, there are times that a child may dash across the road where there is not a crosswalk, and a distracted driver may not notice until it is too late. That is why the National High Traffic Safety Association recommends that all men and women drive below the posted speed limit on Halloween.
Drivers should remember to avoid passing or going around stopped vehicles, because they may be stopped for children that you cannot see. In addition, drivers should reduce distractions in the car by putting their phones on silent and keeping the radio down on this spookiest of holidays. You should be alert for any children that might be playing in the neighborhood and make sure that your costume will not restrict movement or visibility while driving. If you are wearing a mask with your costume, or if the fabric makes it difficult to move, then you should make sure to take the costume off and put it back on when you arrive at your destination. By practicing safe driving techniques like these, you will be more prepared to have an enjoyable and safe night on this exciting holiday! Happy Halloween from all of us at Klemick & Gampel!