Halloween: A More Vigilant Time For Drivers

What is meant to be a fun celebration for children who are dressed in costumes and out trick-or-treating generally sees an increase in motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians. Reports show that more pedestrian injuries and deaths occur among children during Halloween than on other evenings of the year.

The same as being involved in a collision with another vehicle, pedestrian-related accidents can lead to an increase in your auto insurance rate. But regardless of the potential financial implications, road traffic safety comes first. Therefore, there are factors to consider to help you avoid a pedestrian-related accident, especially on Halloween when children of all ages are making their way into the streets.

Speed. Drive slower than the speed limit posted, especially in quieter, residential neighborhoods where children may be less watchful for busy traffic. Driving below the speed limit gives you more time to bring your vehicle to a stop if a child suddenly runs out into the street. You never know when a child may cross the street without looking both ways or step out from behind or from between parked vehicles. Stay alert too for children crossing mid-block rather than at a street corner. Statistics show that most pedestrian deaths occur at night and at non-intersection locations.

Visibility. Turn on your vehicle's headlights even if it's still light outside. This helps children see your vehicle coming their way when they go to cross the street. Making your vehicle visible is important since not all children listen for traffic before crossing the street.

Visibility works both ways. When the sun is going down, the use of headlights helps you see children wearing dark costumes that blend in with the dusk. Young children also are smaller and more difficult for a driver to see.

Surroundings. Be particularly vigilant for young pedestrians crossing the street when nearing intersections and crosswalks. Keep a careful eye on the side of the road as well, watching for children walking along the curbs. Also watch for children walking or running on sidewalks or across lawns, as their next destination could be the street.

Driveways. Be watchful when pulling in or out of your home's driveway as some kids tend to cut across driveways to get to the next house. Pull out from any parking space very slowly, watching for little ghosts and goblins that could come at you from any direction.

Stopped Vehicles. Avoid the temptation to pass another vehicle that is stopped in the roadway. The driver may be dropping off or picking up children who are trick-or-treating. Not all drivers pull off to the side of the road.

Whenever you stop at a traffic sign or traffic light, proceed with caution and use your signals before turning a corner so that children crossing the street know what to expect.

Distractions. Minimize distractions inside your vehicle while driving. Forget about using your cell phone or texting. Even listening to music on the radio can be a dangerous distraction. Either turn the radio off or turn the volume low so that you can hear any children who may be near. Consider too that young pedestrians can be easily distracted. Keep in mind that children don't always pay attention and may not realize that your vehicle is approaching.

For more information, contact local professionals like Amberg Insurance Center Inc​​.