October 25, 2022

Driving Safety Tips During Halloween

Montgomery County Car Accident Lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. Advocate for Injured Car Accident Victims.

Halloween has become a major commercial holiday in the United States, with Americans spending an estimated six billion dollars every year to celebrate it, making it the number two most popular holiday nationwide after Christmas. Many families will be out and about on Halloween going to parties and taking children trick or treating. Driving on that night is more hazardous due to factors such as an increased number of cars out on the road, teen drivers, abundance of pedestrians, and drunk drivers returning from parties. By heeding the following safety tips, you and your family can stay safe during Halloween.

Drive Slowly

Leave plenty of time to get to where you need to be on Halloween. Drive slower than you think you need to. Pedestrians will be everywhere, and most of them will be small children who are difficult to see. According to a comprehensive study by the Journal of the American Medical Association, the risk of a pedestrian fatality on Halloween is 43 percent higher. It gets dark earlier in fall and many Halloween costumes are black or dark in color. Driving slowly gives you plenty of time to react to any unexpected obstacles.

Stay Alert

On a night like Halloween, you should make extra effort to be alert and scan the road as you drive. Do not be a distracted driver: do not make call or send texts, do not fuss with the radio, and remember to program the navigation before you start driving. Taking your attention away from the road even for a second can be deadly. If you are fatigued or taking any medicine that could contribute to drowsy driving, stay off the road.

Do Not Drive Under the Influence

If you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol do not get into your car. Have a sober friend drive you, call a taxi or rideshare service, or stay overnight. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that during the four years from 2014 to 2018, 41 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes on Halloween involved alcohol. Stay alert for other motorists who may be driving drunk and report them to the authorities. You can spot a drunk driver by their erratic speed and drifting across lanes without signaling.

If you plan to drive children through the neighborhood for trick or treating, be sure they each have the appropriate child car seat and are properly buckled up. Each time they enter the car their seat belt should be fastened again, and this should be checked before driving to the next stop. Use your headlights so people can see you and you can spot pedestrians. Find a safe location to pull over to let the children exit your vehicle away from traffic. Turn on your hazard lights so other drivers realize you are stopping. If you must back up, have another adult check behind your car before doing so.

Teen Drivers

The newest drivers are the most inexperienced and are more likely to make errors in judgement. Just as you would have them avoid rush hour, it would be wise to skip letting them drive on Halloween and give them a ride if they are meeting their friends. It is inevitable that some teens will be behind the wheel that evening, so use extra caution when on the road and leave plenty of following distance.

Halloween Hazard Spots

Be extra vigilant on Halloween when driving in these areas:

  • Residential neighborhoods
  • Crosswalks
  • Intersections
  • Driveways
  • Downtown areas
  • When passing cars that may be stopped to load or unload trick or treaters
  • Schools or churches that may be hosting children’s parties

Costumes in cars may pose a problem. For drivers who are trying to get in on the fun, visibility may be an issue if the costume includes head gear. Odd footwear may interfere with operation of the vehicle. For passengers, especially children in car seats, the costume may make it difficult to properly buckle the seatbelt. If you are transporting a child to a Halloween party, consider putting the costume on after you arrive at your destination.

What Should I Do if I Get in a Car Accident on Halloween?

First check yourself and everyone in your vehicle for injuries. Call 911 immediately if anyone is seriously injured. If the accident is blocking traffic and the vehicles can be moved, move them to the shoulder. Wait for law enforcement to arrive keeping in mind that they may be very busy on Halloween.

In the meantime, exchange information with the other driver(s) including their driver’s license, insurance policy, license plate number, and contact information. If there were eyewitnesses to the accident, get their contact information and ask them to write down what they saw happen. Never apologize at the scene of the accident as later this could be interpreted as an admission of fault.

Document the accident as much as possible by taking photos and videos of the damage to the vehicles; any property damage that occurred; your injuries; and the scene of the accident including landmarks, lighting, traffic signals, and crosswalks. You should also note the traffic and weather conditions, and anything else that may have contributed to the accident.

Finally, always see a medical professional after an accident even if you think your injuries are minor. A doctor may diagnose an injury and prevent it from developing into a serious medical problem. If you refuse medical care the insurance company will deny your claim and say your injuries were not serious enough to even warrant a visit to the doctor.

Most accidents are preventable because they involve driver error or lapse in judgement. Keep your family safe this Halloween by practicing these driving tips when out on the road.

Montgomery County Car Accident Lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. Advocate for Injured Car Accident Victims

If you or someone you love was injured by a negligent driver, you may be eligible for compensation. The Montgomery County car accident lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. will fight to get you the compensation you need and deserve. Call 267-861-7100 today to schedule a free consultation about your case or contact us online. From our offices in Philadelphia and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania we represent clients in Philadelphia, Norristown, and throughout Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County, and Chester County.