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What Every Driver Should Know On Halloween

Halloween is a favorite time of year for many in the greater Grand Rapids area, especially for little ghouls and goblins all over West Michigan who are counting down the days until they can trick or treat. Unfortunately, there are hidden dangers that kids, parents and drivers alike are either unaware of or choose to ignore when it comes to this holiday.

Scary Statistics On Halloween:

 

  • An estimated 41 million children will trick or treat each year on Halloween.
  • Children are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal traffic accident on Halloween.
  • 52% of automobile deaths on Halloween involve alcohol.
  • 63% of children trick or treating on Halloween do not carry a flashlight and 82% will not have any reflective tape or devices on their costumes to increase visibility, including those wearing dark costumes.
  • 12% of parents report that their child age 5 or younger is allowed to trick or treat without adult supervision.
  • An estimated 40% of kids will be wearing a costume that hinders their ability to move or see freely such as baggy, bulky clothing and masks.

If those statistics sound alarming to you, you are not alone but many drivers on the road underestimate how important it is to use extra precautions and drive with special care on Halloween, particularly after dark. Below are the facts that every driver should know on Halloween…

What Drivers Should Know:

  • No Distractions – Driving distracted is always dangerous and never a good idea but on the night of Halloween, it becomes especially dangerous. Knowing how impulsive children are, drivers must realize that they may dart across the road and into their pathway in order to catch up with friends, retrieve something that blew away from them or just because they saw a house they wanted to visit next. Put your phone away to avoid being tempted to send a text, make a call or check that notification and focus strictly on driving.
  • Use Extreme Caution – With trick or treating taking place predominately at night, it’s imperative that drivers be on high alert and use extra caution while driving. It is especially important to slow down and be ready to stop at any moment while driving through neighborhoods where kids may be on the hunt for candy in dark costumes that make them hard to see.
  • Yield the right of way: Realizing that there will be a much larger number of pedestrians on the road and at intersections, it’s important to remember that they have the right of way when crossing at sidewalks and that although they are supposed to yield the right of way while crossing outside of a marked or unmarked crosswalk, be prepared that young, excited children may forget to do so. In times like these, it’s best to err on the side of caution and stop when necessary to avoid hitting anyone.
  • Don’t Drink and Drive: If you plan on attending a Halloween party yourself, be sure to designate a sober driver to get everyone home safe and sound or utilize a car service like Uber or Lyft to do the driving for you.
  • Turn On Your Headlights: With little ones dashing about in dark colored clothing, it’s important to do everything you can to make sure you can see them as soon as possible. Use headlights and brights when appropriate to be absolutely sure that your path is clear as you progress down the road. Using your headlights maximizes visibility at dusk and nightfall not only for you the driver but to those who are outside of the vehicle.
  • Communicate Your Intentions: You might know where you are going but everyone else out there doesn’t unless you communicate it to them clearly. Always use your turn signals to alert those around you that you plan to turn and be sure to turn on your hazards if you plan to pull over and stop in order to let your own marvel of monsters out of the vehicle.

 

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