Tips for Driving at Halloween
Mustard.co.uk’s hints and tips on staying safe this Halloween – whether you’re driving a car or out trick-or-treating.
As the supermarkets fill up with sweets, pumpkins, and costumes and the nights get longer, Halloween creeps ever closer – but it’s not just the skeletons and witches that can prove scary.
Venturing out onto the roads around Halloween night can be more treacherous than you might think, and there are several things to consider that you don’t really have to worry about at any other time of year.
Luckily any terrifying consequences can be averted if you drive carefully and follow these tips to avoid getting spooked.
Tips for drivers
Drive slowly – really slowly
If you’re driving through a residential area chances are you’ll be coming across lots of little ghouls going house-to-house in search of sweets. And, just like you’d treat other child-heavy areas like school gates or playgrounds, you should proceed with extra caution. Remember that the speed limit isn’t a target – there’s no shame in driving slower than the posted maximum.
Keep your eyes peeled
October nights are dark, street lighting isn’t always what we’d hope it could be, and, for this one night a year, plenty of people out on the street will be dressed up in costumes that don’t exactly make them high-visibility.
Keep your eyes peeled for little ones wearing dark clothing, and take particular care around crossings, junctions, and on busy roads where children might be hidden behind parked cars. This is a good time to clean your windows and make sure your headlights all work properly.
Keep your car safe
Sometimes you’ll find big kids on Halloween like to pull pranks, and even bigger kids may use the cover of the evening’s festivities to commit crime. Your car may well be the target. If you’ve got a garage or a driveway, use it, and if you have to park on the street make sure it’s in a well-lit area and preferably where you can see it.
It also goes without saying to make sure your car is locked up properly and doesn’t contain any valuables.
Take cleanup seriously
Often cars can be the victims of pranks, and you may wake up to find your pride and joy has been egged or covered in shaving foam. In either case, make sure you clean both off as soon and as thoroughly as possible.
Eggshells can very easily scratch paintwork so pick it off by hand before trying to wash it, while shaving foam can permanently discolour paintwork and should be washed off with warm water as soon as possible. A trip to a decent valeter can help if you can’t clean it yourself.
Tips for trick-or-treaters
Make yourselves visible
Okay, so dressing in a high-visibility jacket isn’t as spooky as an all-black Lord Voldemort outfit. But, especially when it comes to young children, adding in some lighter colours can make the world of difference when it comes to being seen at night. Reflective material can be integrated into a costume if needs be, or it could even be as simple as wrapping battery-powered LED lights around a witch’s hat or using a light-up wand.
Young children should be accompanied
Parents should accompany younger children – in groups if necessary – and take charge when it comes to crossing roads.
Finish up before it gets dark
Even in late October, there’s still several hours of daylight available between the end of school and bedtime – consider trick-or-treating in the late afternoon or early evening, rather than the dead of night. Ghosts can come out in the daytime too!
Consider costumes carefully
Again, glamour may need to take a back seat to safety in this instance. Costumes with masks can impair vision, especially full-face plastic ones that don’t fit especially well. If your kids can’t look both ways when they cross the road, they may not see oncoming traffic.
Long or flowy outfits may interfere with walking, leading to trips or falls that might not just lead to a grazed knee, but leave them in a dangerous position.
Talk to your trick-or-treaters
Have a discussion with your little terrors before you head out trick-or-treating. Going over the Green Cross Code is a great place to start:
- Think: find the safest place to cross
- Stop: stand on the pavement near the kerb
- Use your eyes and ears: look all around for traffic and listen
- Wait until it is safe to cross: if traffic is coming, let it pass
- Look and listen: when it is safe, go straight across the road and do not run
- Arrive alive: keep looking and listening as you cross
Tell your children about other hazards they might face, like cars in the dark that may not have their lights on properly – or distractions they need to ignore, such as seeing a friend trick-or-treating on the other side of the road.
Follow these tips and you, your trick-or-treaters, and your car should all make it through the Halloween season unscathed!
Of course, if the worst should happen, you’ll want to know your insurance can help you out. Here at Mustard.co.uk you can search for and compare quotes from a range of insurers. And, thanks to our Cheapest Price Guarantee*, you’ll never pay over the odds.
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