We have fun writing about the most haunted roads in America, but the real danger on Halloween is the increased risk on the road for drivers and pedestrians. Sadly, twice as many children are hit and killed by cars on October 31st than any other day. This is largely because the hours of trick ‘r treating present a trifecta of risks: darkness, a spike in pedestrians, and multiple distractions in the form of decorations and costumes. Whether you drive a semi-truck or an HVAC van, here are Commercial Truck Trader’s tips for safely operating your commercial vehicle on Halloween:
1. Slow Down.
Most obviously, decreasing your speed is the best way to minimize the risk of an accident on Halloween night. Driving at least 5mph slower than the posted speed limit gives you more time to quickly react if any children or adult pedestrians jump into the street, and minimizes injuries if an accident does occur.
2. Keep an Eye Out.
Another simple solution, but well worth mentioning, is that all drivers should be extra attentive on October 31st. Turn your headlights on and keep an eye out for pedestrians on crosswalks, sidewalks, and yards and porches that are close to the road. Do an additional scan before crossing intersections, moving forward from stop signs, and pulling into and out of driveways.
3. Mind the Time.
Most trick ‘r treating occurs between the hours of 4pm and 8pm, so be sure to exercise increased caution during that period. But also keep two other factors in mind: (1) Community events, or simply the excitement of trying on their costumes may put kids out into the street before trick ‘r treating hours, and (2) Halloween is a big party night, so even late into the night, you need to be alert for adults who may stumble into the road. You can check the local news to see the most recent updates about various (socially-distant) activities that may interrupt your usual routes.
4. Be Seen.
Make sure that pedestrians are clearly aware of your commercial vehicle’s presence by turning on your headlights (even if it’s not dark yet), utilizing turn signals and hazard lights, and using your horn when needed.
5. Yield Generously.
Halloween is an important day to practice patience. Young children often do not know the rules of the road or think to look for oncoming traffic, and can dart into the street without warning. Even if you have the right of way, always yield to trick ‘r treaters. Be patient with other drivers too; it’s a night full of distractions, so it’s better to yield generously than end up in an accident.
6. Pass Stopped Vehicles Slowly.
If a car on the road in front of you is stopped, wait a minute and then, if it’s clear to go, pass them slowly. There’s a good chance that stopped vehicles are dropping off trick ‘r treaters who are about to jump out of the car and into the street.
7. Back-Up Carefully.
You may not be able to immediately see young children in your rearview mirror, so exercise extreme caution when reversing your truck or van. Use your back-up camera and activate your back-up alert sound if you have them, back up very slowly and be prepared to immediately stop, and make sure your lights are on/your vehicle can be clearly seen as it backs-up.
8. Avoid Distracted Driving.
Do not let the excitement of Halloween tempt you into dangerous and distracted driving. Never have a drink before operating your commercial vehicle, and do not try to use your phone to text or take pictures of passing decorations as you drive. If you see any dangerous or suspicious behavior from other drivers, be sure to report it to local law enforcement; reporting a drunk driver could very well save lives.
Halloween is a fun holiday, but let’s limit the nightmares to spooky costumes and horror movies, and keep them off the road. And if you’re looking for your next truck or van, it doesn’t have to be a scary experience; easily check out the new and used commercial vehicles for sale on CommercialTruckTrader.com.
About the Author
Ethan Smith is a Content Curator for Trader Interactive, serving the commercial brands Commercial Truck Trader, Commercial Web Services, and Equipment Trader. Ethan believes in using accessible language to elevate conversations about industry topics relevant to commercial dealers and their buyers.