Halloween Driving Tips

This weekend all the ghouls and goblins will be heading to the streets in search of sweet treats. Caught up in all the excitement, trick-or-treaters may forget the rules of the road, or have their vision impaired by masks, and be oblivious to potential hazards. This means that drivers have to be extra vigilant to ensure that all the little monsters make it back safely to their caves, castles and dens.  Here are some tips drivers can follow to help keep everyone safe:

  • Don’t use a cell phone while driving through residential neighbourhoods. While this is good rule for driving in general, it is especially true on Halloween where a moment’s distraction could cause you to miss a sudden development in front of your vehicle. Wait until you have stopped to use your mobile device.
  • Be patient. On Halloween, the odds of having a young child run out in front of your vehicle increase dramatically. Give yourself some extra reaction time by driving below the speed limit. Similarly, avoid passing other vehicles that have stopped on the roadway as they may be dropping off children.
  • Pay attention. Be aware of what is happening on the sidewalks and roadways around you. Watch out for groups of trick-or-treaters that might dart out into the street from between parked cars. Be extra alert while pulling out of driveways or pulling away from curbs. Do not assume that children can see you or are paying attention.
  • Communicate with other drivers. Always use your turn signals. If you are driving a group of children to go trick-or-treating, but staying in the running vehicle, be sure to put on your hazard lights when you are stopped.
  • Put the mask on later. If you are wearing a costume that comes with a mask, leave the mask off while you are driving as it could obstruct your vision.
  • Make sure your lights are working. While some parents dress up their kids in bright neon colours that are easy to make out in the dark, the majority of Halloween costumes consist of dark colours that make it hard to distinguish kids from their surroundings. Give yourself an extra edge by ensuring that all lights on your vehicle work and that your headlights are clean and free of dust and dirt.

If you have young ones dressing up and going out this Halloween weekend, there are some steps you can take to help your fellow motorists.

  • Make sure drivers can see your kids. Dress them in bright, reflective clothing or add reflective tape to their costumes. As an added measure you can give them flashlights or glow sticks to carry along with their goody bags.
  • Use Make-up over masks. This will give your child a clear unobstructed view of their surroundings.
  • Review road safety with your children. Remind your kids to look both ways before crossing a street and to only cross at corners or designated crosswalks.
  • Accompany your children as they trick or treat. Partner up with other parents and go in a larger group to increase your visibility. It’s a great way to have fun with your kids and ensure their safety at the same time. You might even get some candy out of the deal.

Have a safe and happy Halloween, everyone!

Fall Driving Tips

Wet leaves on the road can become slippery and make for unsafe driving conditions.

As the seasons change, so do road conditions. Falling leaves, fog, sun glare, increased precipitation and shorter days are all factors that drivers will be contending with as we head into the fall season. Here are a few tips to be safe and keep aware during this unpredictable season.

Watch out for Leaves. As pretty and colourful as leaves are, they can be dangerous. Wet leaves on the road can become slippery and make for unsafe driving conditions. Even when they are not wet, motorists should avoid parking over leaf piles as heat from your car’s exhaust or catalytic converter may be able to ignite a fire.

Keep your eyes open. As we head further into Fall, we have fewer daylight hours to play with. Before you know it, it will be dark as you head home from work. Reduced visibility during rush hour is a hazard to all motorists. Even if it is a route you are familiar with, pay close attention to surrounding motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and any animals that may cross your path. Don’t forget to turn your night time lights on if this is not an automatic feature for your car and ensure that your headlights are clean and free from dust and mud.

Keep sunglasses in your car. Sun glare can be a real nuisance for motorists as the sunrise begins to correspond with morning rush hour. Motorists in eastbound traffic can find themselves facing the sun directly for prolonged periods of time. This problem can reoccur for westbound motorists during sundown. To reduce the effects of sun glare, keep a pair of sunglasses in your car and don’t forget to use your sun visor. Give yourself extra time in the morning to prepare for any delays and ensure that your windshield is free of any condensation or frost before you leave.

Check your windshield wipers. Fall weather brings increased precipitation; rain, sleet, snowfall and even hail can dampen your driving experience and cause hazards as you commute. Check to make sure your windshields are in proper working order and replace them if they need to be. When it’s wet outside, avoid any sudden braking or steering movements to reduce your risk of hydroplaning. As always, if you feel it is unsafe to proceed in extreme weather conditions, find a safe place to pull over until it is safe to proceed again.

On behalf of DRIVING FORCE Vehicle Rentals, Sales and Leasing, have a safe and happy Fall Season.

Source: www.arifleet.com/publications/safety_tips/volume_vii/

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