Halloween should always be fun and carefree for children. For parents, it’s chaperoning the kids around and candy inspections. For the average motorist, it’s definitely a night of a lot of variables that requires you put your game face on. Here are some helpful hints to keep you and pedestrians safe during Halloween.
Scan from one side of the street to the other: Watch what’s happening not only right ahead of you but to your right and left. You need to be aware of who could come darting across the street. Most costumes may be bright and noticeable but plenty of others could be dark cloaks and masks. You need to know who’s out there to be prepared for any sudden actions by trick-or-treaters.
Keep it under 25 MPH: The speed limit in most residential areas is usually 25 MPH. Overall stopping distance at that speed is 85 feet, meaning from the moment you realize there’s someone/something in front of you, starting to apply brakes, to actually stopping you will travel 85 feet. You need that stopping time should anyone dart out in front of you. Don’t speed! Going 5 MPH under the limit is a good idea.
Be aware of “Big Kids” in the street: So Halloween is becoming more and more of a grownup holiday. You already know to be concerned about children who might not be paying attention but you also have to worry about adults. Halloween can be big night of drinking for adults. Drunk pedestrians don’t know what they’re doing and they don’t’ care. “They’re an adult” is not an excuse to assume they will cross the street safely. Yield the right of way to pedestrians and be prepared for sudden movements.
Drinking and Driving [watch out for it and don’t do it!]: You should assume there will be a higher percentage of drunk drivers on the road during Halloween [lousy deal but true]. Allow yourself plenty of following distance from cars in front of you and always wear your seat belt. If you plan to go to parties yourself where drinks will be served, do yourself a favor and take a cab or Uber. Stay safe!
Plan ahead: If Halloween is right before or right after a weekend but you should expect parties pretty much from the prior Friday night onward. Know that all of the above should be a concern early on and be ready for it.