Halloween is one of the busiest times of the year for pedestrian traffic. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that Halloween is one of the most deadly nights of the year for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. With children running around in costumes, and adults going to and from parties, there are people walking everywhere. That's why it's so important to drive safely. Follow these safety tips and make sure your holiday doesn't turn into someone's nightmare.
Headlights On - The sun is setting earlier and earlier these days, and that means decreased visibility during peak driving times. The most popular hours for trick-or-treating are between 5PM and 9PM, although pedestrians may, and probably will, be out much later into the night. It's important to turn your headlights on so you can see them, but also so that they can see you. Also remember, a lot of people will have masks on which might obscure their view.
Park Your Phone - With so many people out on the streets, it's imperative that you keep your full attention on the road. Looking away for a split second can end in tragedy. Children especially can be unpredictable, and you need to be ready in case one darts across the road.
Slow Down - Although you might be in a hurry to get to a party, you need to watch your speed. This is especially important in residential areas. Aim for 5 mph slower than the posted speed limit, and give yourself time to react in case a child runs in front of your car. Don't pass a vehicle stopped on the road either; they may be dropping off children.
Don't Drink And Drive - This should go without saying every night, but if you are going to drink, designate a sober driver or arrange for another safe ride home. The NHTSA reports from 2009-2013, 43% of all motor vehicle deaths on Halloween involved drunk driving. Numerous studies have also found that buzzed driving (defined as a having a BAC of .01-.07) is just as dangerous as drunk driving. So if you're going to drink - at all - plan ahead to have a sober ride home.
Despite all of the horror films and creepy costumes, Halloween should be a fun night - not a nightmare. Follow these safe driving tips and leave the scary stuff for the movies. Happy Halloween!
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