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!