Witches, wizards, and Disney princesses are about to run amok in your neighborhood. No, we’re not being invaded by fantastical barbarians from another dimension—they’re just trick-or-treating, silly. Innocent as they can be, trick-or-treaters aren’t great about keeping up with common road-safety procedures. In fact, children are twice as likely to be hit by a vehicle on Halloween than any other day of the year.
That’s why it’s imperative to stay extra vigilant behind the wheel once the pumpkins start a-shining on October 31. Here are tips to stay safe while driving this Halloween, even if that walking 10-legged spider terrifies you.
#1. SLOW Means S-L-O-W
If you normally go 25 mph down your neighborhood, tone that down to about 2 mph on Halloween night. We’re talking sloth-like speed, here. The average driver reaction time to brake is over 2 seconds—that’s horrifyingly bad—which means you have no time to waste if Elsa darts into the middle of the road.
Honda’s Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS, for the laymen) can act as supplementary braking insurance on Halloween. While it normally monitors for impending vehicle-vehicle collisions, this Honda Sensing safety system may track large groups of trick-or-treaters, too. But never use CMBS in place of your own brain—you’re not the Scarecrow—especially during Halloween.
#2. De-Dangerify Driveways
About 18% of fatalities on Halloween occur in driveways. On any normal day, children can be difficult to spot when you’re reversing; at dusk, on Halloween, those costume-clad kids can be downright camouflaged at the end of a driveway.
Now, with federal laws regulating all new vehicles come equipped with rearview cameras, those backover deaths should be cut down drastically. As always, always back up slowly out of your driveway while utilizing your rearview camera for a wide-angled view of oncoming foot traffic.
#3. Don’t Let Teens Drive On Halloween
Your 15-year-old may be on the verge of getting their license, but Halloween is no time to have them test their driving abilities. It’s far too dangerous for adults to drive, let alone new teenage drivers, who are already nine times more likely than adults to be involved in a crash. For your sake and the sake of your teen, try to avoid being part of the news this Halloween.
#4 Stay Off Your Phone!
If we could bold this tip more, we would. Using your phone while driving is not only illegal in Florida, it’s also incredibly dumb, particularly when there are hundreds of kids running around carefree. Put the phone down while your car is running—it could use a charge, anyway.
#5. Headlights, People
It’s dark out. Put your headlights on. (You’d be surprised how many drivers forget to switch that little dial over.)
Should it particularly dark and free of oncoming vehicles, don’t shy away from the high-beams. No one will blame you for switching them on if it means keeping kids safer.
#6. Windows Down, Music Down
You may want to pump “Monster Mash” over your 14-speaker sound system, but it’s imperative you keep an ear out for trick-or-treaters. Weather permitting, roll your window down for an extra audible layer of protection.
#7. Don’t Speed Around Stopped Cars
Parents may be dropping their kids off to trick-or-treat—kids who we’ve already established aren’t keen on following pedestrian rules of the road. They may swing their door open abruptly, leaving them in danger and you on the hook for some pricey auto body work, times two.
#8. Right-Away Doesn’t Mean You’re Safe
You stop at a four-way stop sign—no cars in sight. So, as one would, you press the accelerator only to see a line of kids crossing away from the crosswalk. On Halloween, crosswalks are rarely used, and we doubt the police will be handing out fines for jaywalking. Stay calm and remember that you have candy to eat when you get home.
#9. Buckle Up
If you plan on driving the kids around for trick-or-treating, you should always ensure they’re buckled up in an appropriate booster seat each time you begin moving. You never know when even a minor car crash could result in airbags being deployed, which could result in injury to children who aren’t fastened properly.
#10. See An Unsafe Driver? Alert Law Enforcement
You may want to keep trick-or-treaters safe, but other drivers may not care. It’s your job to tattle on them. If possible, mentally jot down their license plate number, vehicle color, make and model, and location of the incident. Pull over and contact the authorities. On Halloween, snitches don’t get stitches—only Frankensteins.
Stay Safe In A New Honda
On the other 364 days of the year not ending in “-ween,” you can keep safe by driving a Honda. All new Honda models come equipped with the full array of Honda Sensing safety features, allowing you to drive with confidence. To learn more about Honda Sensing in northern Florida or southern Georgia, visit your nearest First Coast Honda Dealers. We’ll happily go over all the advanced driver-assist features available in the newest 2018 and 2019 Honda models.
Contact your Honda dealership near Jacksonville, Augustine, Lake City, Brunswick, or Waycross to get started. And stay safe this Halloween!