The 31st of October is an exciting day of the year for many children and parents going trick-or-treating or off to Halloween parties.
However, Halloween historically sees a spike in road accidents due to the unfortunate combination of excited children, dark nights, busy roads and increased night-time pedestrians. If you’re out enjoying the festivities this Halloween, make sure you try your best to stay safe, to help, we’ve put together a few key points to bear in mind…
If you’re planning on taking your little monsters out trick or treating:
- Remember that the clocks go back on the 30th of October, so it will get darker earlier.
- Be Safe - Be Seen: Consider a reflective vest or add a reflective armband to your costumes.
- Take a torch or glow sticks with you, but you must not shine the torch directly at motorists as this may dazzle them.
- Always find a safe place to cross the road. Use a pedestrian crossing wherever possible, if there is not one near-by then find somewhere where traffic can clearly see you and you can clearly see them.
- Stop, Look and Listen – follow the green cross code.
- Double check that traffic has stopped before crossing, even if you’re at a pedestrian crossing and the green man is showing.
- Avoid distractions like mobile phones when close to the road.
- Make sure children’s costumes don’t impede their vision or movement.
If you’re driving on Halloween night:
- Remember there will be more pedestrians and unaccompanied children who may be caught up in the excitement and could make a rash decision near the road.
- Drive at an appropriate speed for the road and conditions, where children are about and in residential areas 20 mph or lower might be a more appropriate speed -– National Safe Speeds Day outlines the dangers of speeding.
- Use your lights appropriately and consider how you use signals to warn other road users of your intentions, making sure you pay particular attention when manoeuvring.
- Take extra care and slow down when driving/riding near pedestrian crossings, an excited child might not wait for the green man.
- Avoid unnecessary distractions and allow yourself to keep your concentration on your driving.
- Be prepared for children crossing between parked cars, looking over, under and through parked car windows can help you to identify the chance of someone wanting to cross between parked cars.
Rebecca Ashton, Head of Policy and Research had this to say:
Halloween falls on a Monday this year just after the clocks go back! Meaning the darker nights will be in and with children being out and about trick or treating in the late afternoon and evening. This means drivers need to be on the look out for excited children and more pedestrian traffic than usual.
It can be a very exciting time for children and adults and Halloween costumes are by nature of them dark and spooky making them harder to be seen. Allow for this by anticipating behaviour, expecting the unexpected can put you in good stead for a safe journey. Try avoiding unnecessary residential areas, and remember many incidents happen close to home when we tend to switch off a little, keeping alert on the last part of your journey could make all the difference.
From all of us at IAM RoadSmart we hope you have a SPOOKTACULAR Halloween!
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