Driving during Halloween can be an atmospheric and even phantasmagorical experience. The cool crisp air of the last evening of October, or perhaps a low dissociative mist, the warm glow of pumpkins irradiating from doorsteps and front windows, and most entrancingly of all, the small carnivalesque bands of macabrely and magically dressed children, flitting from house to house, toddlers to teenagers, their parents gamely painted into the celebrations as well.
But for drivers, Halloween inevitably poses particular challenges. There is more pedestrian traffic in rural and urban areas than, perhaps, at any other time of the year and the potential for danger that this poses is only compounded by the fact that so many of those on the streets are children, at just the very time of year when they are reaching a peak of destabilising excitement that may only be matched by the madness of pre-Christmas.
To be entranced to the point where you are merely a motoring spectator of the night’s eery spectacle can be very dangerous, fatal even and before taking to the wheel your foremost thought should be to ensure that you drive with especial caution. There is so much that Business & Finance News – www.hmessage.net can go wrong for the unprepared motorist: failure to sight something simple, such as a child stepping out from between two parked cars or a moment’s indecision from a group gathered at a pedestrian crossing has the potential to quickly turn the carnival of Halloween into nightmare. It is no doubt a macabre and discomforting thought but it is one that all motorists must take stock of before driving at this time of year.
Increasingly too, as Halloween becomes more deeply embedded in our British culture and less the distasteful American export it was once dismissed as, adults are joining in with the celebrations. But with this being Britain, alcohol is usually involved, and this inevitably has consequences for our roads and its drivers. Beware, on 31 October and the Saturday beforehand, as Britain’s roads are likely to be populated with zigzagging zombies, winding witches, veering vampires, feckless Frankensteins and clumsy killer clowns. Whether excited children or inebriated adults, the chances of a road accident inevitably increase. Although there is no clear data here in the UK, in the US it is reported that around twice as many pedestrians are killed on Halloween as compared to the average comparable days.
Also, be aware that, globally, drink driving levels spike sharply at Halloween, so there is a much higher than average chance that some of your fellow drivers may in fact be over the legal limit and therefore prone to drive erratically, carelessly or indeed recklessly. It may sound comical, but beware the ghoul in the Ghia, he may well be over the limit!
Top tips for safe Halloween driving
There are a number of things to remember for safe driving at night, but here are some which will be specific to the witching night.
Safe speed in residential areas
Whether trick or treaters swarm the neighbourhood or form more of a trickle, remember to drive even more slowly than usual during Halloween. This will increase your reaction times and allow you more time for possible dangers.
Be vigilant at junctions and intersections
Always stop at junctions. Don’t take anything for granted as excited children often feel safer and bolder when out at Halloween and it is not uncommon for them to cross unexpectedly at junctions.
Be cautious in and around garages, driveways and parking spaces
Whether you are entering or exiting, check all your blind spots, proceed with extra caution and, even better, get someone to ensure your path is clear of pedestrians and tiny ghosts.
No phones, no food, no drinks, no fiddling with radios. Nothing. Keep your eyes on the road.
Putting your headlights on that little bit earlier before pulling away will increase the chances of your car being seen by trick or treaters and revellers.
So, be safe this Halloween if you’re driving. Keep an eye out for the little ones who may have had one Haribo too many and also for the older revellers who may be blotto!