The Halloween season is a fun time for all ages, especially children and teens who want to indulge in trick-or-treating and festive parties. Beyond the spooktacular events and costumes lies serious dangers for children and teens, especially on Halloween night. For teens, Halloween can be tricky: allowing teens on the road at night can be a spooky thought.
This Halloween, communicate with your teenagers before they start driving. There are various additional safety factors to consider on the road on the days leading up to and on Halloween.
Is Driving on Halloween More Dangerous?
Simply put, yes. Experts agree driving on Halloween is abnormally dangerous due to an increase in pedestrians and drunk driving behaviors. “Halloween is one of the deadliest nights of the year for drunk driving accidents,” note car accident lawyers from Rosenthal Law.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 159 people killed were in drunk-driving crashes during Halloween night (6 p.m. October 31 to 5:59 a.m. November 1) between 2017-2021.
Check the Vehicle
Prior to driving, help your teen inspect the car. Due to the high volume of pedestrians and people out, it is vital to check the vehicle’s lights and signals to ensure they are visible. Change any bulbs if necessary. Check the brakes and brake lights and if inclement weather is approaching, ensure windshield wipers are in good condition and there is adequate wiper fluid.
Check tire pressure and ensure there is a spare in case of an emergency. It may also be a good idea to teach your teen how to change a flat tire!
Plan the Route in Advance
Since Halloween can mean road closures, DUI checkpoints and additional traffic, discuss where your teen is planning on going. Help your teen create an effective route that minimizes high-traffic and threats. Remind your teen to be cautious around Halloween decorations and to drive slowly near haunted houses and parties.
Also, if you have set a curfew for your teen, helping plan a route can ensure they avoid being late due to unforeseen traffic.
Discourage Distracted Driving
There is a lot to see on Halloween night! Between costumes, decorations, big events and parties, it can be easier than normal for your teen to be distracted on the road. Remind your teenagers of the importance of focusing on the road.
According to the NHTSA, 3,522 lives were lost due to distracted driving in 2021 alone. Distracted driving is 100% preventable. Instruct teens to pull over if they need to change the song, update directions or send a text. No distracted driving behavior is worth their life.
Stay Cautious in Residential Areas
Remind your teen to always stay alert and drive defensively! Be aware of pedestrians, especially small children, and use extra caution at crosswalks. Reduce speed in neighborhoods and give pedestrians the right of way.
Even in the early evening hours, suggest your teen should use headlights to help increase visibility.
Have an Emergency Plan
While no parent should ever have to get a panicked call, it is best to discuss an emergency plan with your teen and how to respond appropriately. Ensure your teen’s car is stocked with essential items like a flashlight, phone charger (preferably a portable charger with a cord), water, blankets and first-aid kit.
Discuss how to handle a breakdown or accident and who to call. Ask your teen to give updates on their whereabouts or if their Halloween travel plans have changed.
Keeping Your Teens Safe on the Road During Halloween
Halloween should be a fun time to celebrate and if you keep your teens updated on Halloween driving safety tips, it can be! Ensure you carve out enough time to discuss the realities of the road with your teens and how they can be best prepared if they encounter any spooky situations. Halloween driving safety is everyone’s responsibility.