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Friday, October 22, 2010

Driver Safety Tips for Halloween

The chill is in the air. Orange is the dominant color and kids are beginning to think of their plans for October 31st. Before you go out shopping for costumes and buying bags of candy this year, spend a few minutes planning the night ahead.

Identify what type of celebrations will be taking place and where they will be located. Not only will it help determine your plans, it will help you be an aware driver as you travel on the roadways. If you will be attending a party, plan for a designated driver or commit to not drink. Even small amounts of alcohol can impair your judgment and driving. Driving under the influence can kill or cause trauma, be expensive and embarrassing.

When costume planning, make sure that all costumes fit appropriately and will not restrict movement or visibility, either as a pedestrian or behind the wheel. Ensure foot wear is sturdy. Tripping, falling, difficulty steering or braking can be dangerous!

Add reflective tape to costumes and replace flash light batteries to ensure you will be visible, whether escorting trick or treaters or attending an event yourself. Confirm any children you are with have flashlights, glow stick, bright candy bags, and reflective tape on costumes as well. Clear up any yard obstructions, water hoses, and overgrown vegetation to make it easier to see and maneuver for both pedestrians and vehicles.

Know your planned route, to avoid the unexpected. Plan to travel in well lighted areas. If walking, use sidewalks and crosswalks. If driving, avoid areas of heavy pedestrian traffic and park in areas with the greatest visibility. Design alternate routes that will provide the least amount of risk and the most amount of safety. Arrange to give yourself extra time to and from your destination.

Halloween is on a Sunday this year, so expect the festivities to begin on Saturday or earlier in the day and prepare to be a defensive driver. If you can, avoid driving on Halloween.

Be alert for kids playing in costumes during the day, darting from house to house or in between parked cars. Pay special attention beginning at 4:30pm for the younger treat seekers. Turn your head lights on to make your vehicle more visible. Drivers need to be especially diligent driving during dusk through the night time as visibility is reduced.

Reduce distractions. Make sure your cell phone is on silent, your radio volume is low and your passengers are aware to minimize distractions and assist with being alert to the surrounding environment.

Be extra cautious as you pull into and leave driveways, parking lots and alleys for children that may dart out between cars, at roadways, medians and on curves. Be sure to check your blind spots thoroughly and maintain a search and scan of the driving environment every three seconds.

Travel well below the posted speed limit. Be extra patient with pedestrians and other vehicles and always be prepared to stop at a given moment. They may be carrying trick or treaters and be distracted. Avoid passing or going around stopped vehicles. They may have passengers entering and exiting hurriedly and carelessly.


Halloween can truly be a fun night full of great memories! Take a few steps to keep it safe and trouble free.

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