For children of all ages, Halloween is just plain fun. The appeal is irresistible: dressing up in a costume that’s scary or amazing (or both), staying out late with friends, and getting free candy all night long.
No wonder it generates such excitement. But it also brings danger, too. The Centers for Disease Control report children are four times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween. Overall, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration regularly rates Halloween as a top-three day for pedestrian injuries and deaths. And South Carolina is one of the most deadly states for pedestrians.
So here’s the first driving tip: if you don’t have to drive, don’t.
But if you do, here are tips from AAA, tweaked by me, on keeping everyone—big or small, costumed or not—safe at Halloween:
- Slow down. AAA recommends driving at least 5 mph below the speed limit. I say you might need to drive 5 mph in some especially crowded areas, like Converse Heights in Spartanburg.
- If the weather permits, drive with the windows open. It’s dark, and many kids have dark costumes. You might hear what you can’t see before it’s too late.
- Expect the unexpected. Children can jump off the curb, sprint from corners, or dash from front porches across yards to appear in the street from nowhere.
- Be alert. Scan all around you as you drive. Try to see others before they see you. And remember, it’s Halloween—assume you’re invisible to them.
- Take turns extra slow. You don’t know who could jump out from the other side.
- Watch your back. Backing out of a driveway can be especially treacherous. If possible, have someone at the end of the driveway to warn folks you’re coming out.
If you’ve got to drive, these tips should help keep Halloween the joyous free-for-all it is. Because for parents and drivers, safe is fun. So Happy Halloween from Holland & Usry!
Here’s hoping you get the last Butterfinger.