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Halloween safety tips for drivers

Not only is Halloween one of the busiest night of the year for pedestrians, it's actually the most fatal. According to AAA, 4 p.m. to midnight on Halloween is the deadliest night of the year, and much of the fatal accidents have to do with cars.

How can you keep your little trick-or-treaters safe, or how can you make sure you don't cause a fatal accident? The following are tips for drivers on the road Halloween night without trick-or-treaters in tow, and for parents or guardians taking the children out that evening.

Drivers without kids or passengers

  • Leave distractions out of the car: tune the radio and set your GPS before you start moving, and keep your phone in your purse, pocket or out of reach. If you do need to make an important call or text, pull over safely before you do. A distracted driver can be deadly.
  • Drive slower than the speed limit in residential areas during the busiest trick-or-treating hours. Driving more slowly allows you more time to hit the brakes if someone darts in front of your car.
  • Very carefully observe crosswalks as you drive, as well as anyone in intersections or on the side of the road. Also, be extra careful to look for children between cars or cutting across the street outside of crosswalks.
  • Do not pass other cars - they could be dropping off or picking up children. Instead, wait for a bit to see if they signal that you can pass. Even then, pull around very slowly and keep watch.
  • Be extra diligent as you enter or exit alleyways and driveways. Signal any and all turns, and drive extra slowly.

Parents with trick-or-treaters

  • Having a child (or several) in the car with you can be distracting by itself. If you're dropping the trick-or-treaters off or picking them up, be sure to pull off to the side of the road safely and signal to other drivers and pedestrians that you're there with your hazard lights.
  • Ensure your child has reflective tape on their costume as well as a flashlight with them. Reflective tape will help others see them, especially in cars, and the flashlight allows for recognition by others as well as a good-old-fashioned way to see where they are going in a dark yard or street.
  • Be sure to teach your passengers to always use sidewalks, only cross at crosswalks or intersections, make eye contact with approaching cars if they intend to cross to make sure the driver is paying attention and to stay as far to the side of the road as possible if they are on a street with no sidewalk.
  • If you are waiting for your child to return to your car, keep your hazards on as well as a map light to the child can see your face and will know to approach the correct car and not dart around looking for you.

Follow these tips to ensure everyone has a safe and happy Halloween! Pedestrians always have the right-of-way, and on Halloween, that's even more imperative to prevent deadly accidents.

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