In past blog posts, we have discussed the increased risks that pedestrians face on Pennsylvania roads. Recent reports have also found that even though traffic deaths are down across the country, the number of pedestrian fatalities is only increasing. According to Consumer Reports, there were more pedestrian deaths last year than there has been in the last 30 years. And one of the deadliest nights of the years for pedestrians will soon be upon us.
There is no secret to why Halloween is one of the most dangerous nights of the year for pedestrians. However, there are extra precautions that drivers can take to reduce these dangers.
Drive slower than usual
Regardless of the posted speed limit, drivers should take it easy on Halloween night and drive slower than they usually would. This is helpful for two primary reasons:
- As we all know, Halloween brings with it a much higher number of pedestrians that are out on the sidewalks and streets. Driving below the speed limit, especially in residential areas, can help drivers stay aware of their surroundings.
- A driver’s visibility is low when the sun goes down. The National Safety Council reports that nighttime is already the most dangerous time to drive, and it is getting darker earlier nowadays. With such low visibility, driving slowly can help drivers take time to see more.
Driving slower will give drivers the time they need to see pedestrians and hazards, as well as react to avoid an accident.
Be on the defensive
Driving defensively is always essential, but it is especially important on Halloween. Drivers should ensure that they:
- Stay focused on the task at hand;
- Yield to all pedestrians;
- Keep an eye out specifically for children; and
- Avoid all distractions while behind the wheel.
Make a plan to avoid drinking and driving
As we get older, more people start attending Halloween parties over trick-or-treating. Many of these parties involve alcohol, and, unfortunately, this results in many people choosing to drive under the influence.
Halloween usually ranks high on the list of days involving the most drunk driving deaths. It has even topped New Year’s Eve in past years. Drivers must avoid driving drunk and make arrangements with a sober driver before Halloween if they do plan to drink.