By Ursula Nizalowski
As we enter the month of Halloween, our thoughts turn to the fun activities associated with this
popular holiday. For the kids, it means trick-or-treating in different neighborhoods. Meanwhile,
the adults tend to use Halloween as an excuse to go to parties and drink alcohol. Now these
activities are relatively harmless in of themselves, but they can take a turn for the dangerous
when driving gets involved. So here are advisory tips for drivers on how to maintain a safe and
fun Halloween for everyone.
Things to Look Out For:
Trick-or-Treaters – Unlike children riding bikes to school, kids that are trick-or-
treating can be arguably more difficult to spot for drivers. Because at dusk, their small forms
aren’t easily noticeable compared to the daytime. And when a child is wearing a costume that
isn’t reflective or lightly colored, it’s like they’re practically invisible to an oncoming car.
Drunk Drivers – For adults who celebrate Halloween, they tend to consume more
alcohol than usual. The reason this happens according to Psychology Today is “In the mixing of
fantasy with alcohol and anonymity, there is a lot of release and little accountability.” With such
a combination, it becomes easy to see why drunk driving is a common problem on Halloween.
What To Do:
Remain Alert – It’s always important to be aware of one’s surroundings when driving
in general, but especially in areas where costumed kids and their parents might be walking
through. After all, there could be “pedestrians who may come out from between parked cars or
behind shrubbery” NHTSA says. Then as our vision becomes limited during the later hours of the day, it becomes hard to see such pedestrians and thus extra precaution becomes necessary to avoid car-related accidents.
Move at Slower Speed – One easy method to avoid hitting pedestrians on Halloween
is to drive slower. That way, it’s easier to scan the area for trick-or-treaters before moving
forward. Plus, they have more leeway to pass a vehicle without the risk of an accident occurring.
Contact Authorities If Drunk Driving is Spotted – When the dangers of
unpredictable trick-or-treaters and drunk driving collide, that could be a recipe for disaster. So if
one spots a drunk driver nearby, it would be advisable to contact law enforcement . Because not
only would trying to stop the drunk driver personally cause more problems, but also the
authorities are generally better equipped to handle the situation.
What Not To Do:
Look at Phone While Driving – It can’t be stressed enough how using phones can
be problematic for driving effectively due to the incredible speeds a car can make in a short
distance. But it’s especially dangerous when there are children in the vicinity of where one is
driving as they could become an unexpected obstacle in the road. Therefore, the use of phones is
arguably better suited for when the car is pulled over instead of moving.
Wear Costumes Not Suited for Seatbelts – Depending on the material, certain
costumes might make it difficult to wear in the car. Some examples that Consumer Reports
gives include costumes with “added padding or hard surfaces,” which can prevent costumed
drivers and passengers from putting on seatbelts and/or car seat harnesses. Therefore changing
the costume’s material to have it accommodate the seatbelts would help, let alone waiting to
wear the costumes until trick-or-treating actually begins.
Refuse Sobriety Test – In the state of Colorado, there are severe consequences to
DUI charges. For instance, if a drunk driver doesn’t take a sobriety test their “driver’s license
can be revoked for up to 12 months” according to DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez . Additionally,
first-time offenders could have their license suspended for nine months or have an Ignition
Interlock Device installed in their car involuntarily.
For further questions about Halloween-related accidents or safety issues, feel free to contact
attorney Rick Wagner .