You’re traveling down the street, minding the speed limit and… nothing happens. You get to where you were going safely and without incident. It’s just like any other night.
Now consider another scenario. It’s Halloween night, you’re traveling down the street, minding the speed limit and… a child darts out in front of your car. You strike the child and a tragic situation unfolds. It’s unlike any other night.
Here are some tips to help you avoid a Halloween scare you didn’t expect.
Driving slowly through a residential neighborhood is typical. Most residential streets post a speed limit of 25 miles an hour. If you are driving during trick-or-treat, slow down even more. In fact, slow your car to a creep. Kids are excited on Halloween and they aren’t always paying attention. A child darting into the street should be expected.
Distracted driving is a problem no matter the time of the year, but you must be especially vigilant on Halloween. Do nothing behind your wheel that takes your focus off the road. Keep your radio off, toss your cell phone in the backseat and skip the coffee behind the wheel.
Be hyper vigilant for cars parked in front of houses, especially if there are trick-or-treaters milling about. While a child may have been taught to look both ways before they cross the road, they may forget their lessons while they are excited. A parked car can make it difficult to see a child, especially a small one, who has decided to cross the road in search for the perfect treat.
Scan your surroundings as your drive through a residential neighborhood. If you are driving down a dark, country road, do the same. Consistently scanning with your eyes will allow you to see movement in your peripheral vision before you see a small child frozen in your headlights.
Just because you know there are crosswalks on a street doesn’t mean you should only be prepared for little ones in marked lanes. A child may not walk to the end of a block before they decide to cross the street. It’s easy to be less alert when you know there are crosswalks present, but try to remember to keep your eyes peeled no matter which section of road you’re on.
The roadway isn’t the only place you could be presented with a dangerous situation. Whether you are pulling in or out of your driveway, scan your surroundings. Take a walk around your car before you pull out of your driveway and then look again before you press the accelerator.
Maybe you’re going to a Halloween party. Perhaps you have the best costume ever. That being said, keep your mask off until you get to the party. A mask, no matter how big the eye holes, can make it difficult to see where you are going and what is happening around your vehicle.
It’s not unusual for parents to drive their children from house to house for candy. If you will be one of these parents, turn your hazard lights on so that drivers around you will know that something is happening. When drivers see your hazards, they will drive more cautiously around you.
Have you ever given thought to decorating your car for Halloween? It can be a great idea. Making your car stand out will get you noticed. Hang a blinking light from the rear window, wrap your side mirrors in battery-operated lights. Do whatever you can to make your car stand out from the crowd.
It should go without saying, but drinking and driving on Halloween night is a bad idea. Truthfully, it’s a bad idea any night, but Halloween can be particularly dangerous. If you are planning on enjoying an adult party or two, complete with beverages not made for kids, arrange for a sober ride home. Alcohol will dull your response time and make the likelihood of striking a pedestrian greater.
Halloween can be a safe night if you know what to look out for. Use the tips above to drive a bit more safely this coming holiday and avoid many of the accidents that have plagued others.
If you are involved in a car accident in West Palm Beach on Halloween or any other day of the year, reach out to our team of personal injury attorneys. We will help you determine if you have the elements necessary for a successful case. Our team of attorneys can help you recover damages for what you have lost as a result of the accident and for the financial difficulties you may experience in the future. Call today to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation or browse our website for more information about our firm.