Halloween and Driving

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Halloween and Driving

Dark streets filled with excited children sounds like a recipe for disaster. Halloween can be a very dangerous time, especially for the young, but drivers can help to prevent accidents. Taking extra precautions on October 31st is a necessary part of being a safe driver on Halloween.

Halloween can be fun but also dangerous. According to a CBC report of a JAMA Pediatrics study conducted in the United States, pedestrians aged four to eight years old are ten times more likely to be killed on Halloween that in the weeks before or after. Pedestrians in Canada are in much the same situation.

haloween caution sign

Several factors contribute to these numbers. In much of southern Canada, where most of the population lives, the sun sets by about 5 or 6 p.m. on October 31st, making it harder for drivers to see pedestrians. With the possibility of winter driving conditions, combined with the presence of children who may not understand the dangers of the road, drivers should take extra precautions on Halloween.

Preventing Accidents on Halloween

In addition to the usual precautions of avoiding alcohol before getting behind the wheel and driving slowly in residential neighbourhoods, the Consumer Reports website advises drivers to avoid backing up, as it can be very difficult to see a small child behind the car. If backing is necessary, the driver should get help from someone who can monitor the area behind the vehicle.

Drivers who stop to let passengers out should always choose a safe spot and use their hazard lights to alert others to their presence. Also, if one child crosses the road, drivers should wait to see if more will cross, as children often move in groups on Halloween. Following guidelines like these will help to keep everyone safe on Halloween and throughout the year.