jackolanternIf you think potholes, pedestrians, and stray cats make residential driving a challenge, just wait ‘til you have to drive among the height-challenged ghosts and goblins that will be out this week for Halloween.

Trick-or-treating is one of those things kids look forward to all year, but all that walking from house to house can be very dangerous. Four times as dangerous as any other night of the year, according to statistics collected by the Center for Disease Control.

But Halloween can be made much safer with some simple, common sense driving tips.

  • There’s extra danger, so be extra careful. There will be more pedestrians out and more of them will be young and excited and not thinking about the dangers. Some may even be in costumes that make it harder for them to see or hear. Increase your caution to compensate for their lack of it.
  • Increase your reaction time by slowing down. This will give you more time to see Spiderman dart across the street between parked cars and more time for him to see you.
  • Focus on your driving. During Halloween especially is not the time to cruise your neighborhood will the cell phone at your ear and your thoughts miles away. Let it ring and call them back later.
  • Don’t pass vehicles stopped in the roadway. They could be dropping off kids, and who knows which way the kids may run once they escape the car. Just wait a bit and follow the car when it moves on.
  • Never assume a pedestrian approaching the roadway will yield for you. Children concentrating on which houses they’ve gone to won’t be concentrating on you, and some of them may actually be new to crossing the street on their own.
  • 4 to 8pm are the peak trick-or-treating hours, but the added danger doesn’t end when Darth Vader and the Fairy Princess go to bed. A lot of adults will be celebrating Halloween as well, and some of them will be driving home later under the influence of more than candy. Out in traffic, look out for and avoid the drivers who are erratic or racing dangerously fast.

Simple practical tips like these are often all it takes to turn a good driver into a safer driver, and they are a big part of our driving safety classes. Whether you take our class online or a live class in one of the more than thirty locations in and around Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston, and Tyler, we can promise you’ll have a good time and learn things that will make your driving safer.