Halloween – Safety on the Road
Halloween – Safety on the Road. Every October 31st, a strange and bizarre change spreads through millions of communities across the U.S. Monsters, goblins, and ghouls emerge from every nook and cranny, fanning out through residential neighborhoods, city blocks, and apartment buildings, wandering in an excited sugar-fueled daze from door to door.
In a candy induced trance, these creatures of the night zig and zag across streets with little or no regard for their personal safety. For drivers, Halloween can be like navigating a minefield, where unexpected dangers could pop out of the dark around every corner. According to the NHTSA, Halloween is consistently one of the three most dangerous nights for pedestrian injuries and fatalities.
Children and other trick or treaters aren’t the only hazard halloween brings to the table for truck drivers. Like any other holiday, halloween means parties and that means a spike in intoxicated drivers on the road. According to the Department of Transportation, on Halloween night in 2012, 54 people died, and nearly half of those deaths (26) involved a crash with a drunk driver, compared to one-third on an average day.
The exciting and celebratory atmosphere at Halloween gatherings can lead to people getting behind the wheel who aren’t able to safely operate their vehicle. So it’s important that those who have to be on the road on halloween night are extra vigilant and prepared to deal with potentially dangerous conditions. Let’s make a quick review of steps you can take as a driver to make your Halloween night as safe as possible.
Tips for a Safe Halloween
As always, having a safe drive begins before you even get in the truck with a thorough pre-trip inspection to ensure your load is secure, your rig is in good condition, and all your safety equipment is functioning properly. According to Amanda Hall, Director of Safety for ASF Intermodal, “The pre-trip inspection helps guard against mechanical breakdowns and accidents by ensuring a truck is not only in safe operating order, but also compliant with state and federal regulations.”
A 15 minute pre-trip inspection can help prevent unexpected, unpleasant surprises on the road, and can put a driver’s mind more at ease and allow him or her to focus more fully on the road ahead. An added benefit of a thoughtful pre-trip inspection regimen is the ability to target preventative maintenance more effectively and keep costs as low as possible.
Hall also encourages drivers to stay vigilant and avoid becoming complacent, even on runs they’ve become very familiar with, urging drivers not to “fall into the complacency trap if you are taking the same runs or following the same routes every day,” and to “expect the unexpected.”
With so many more people out on the streets than usual on Halloween, it’s important to stay focused on the road ahead so that you can react quickly to developing situations, for example a group of children dressed in dark clothing crossing the road suddenly. Taking the time to pay attention a little more closely to the road ahead can be the difference between safety and tragedy.
For more information about holidays on the road be sure to check out this blog post: Simple Ways to Enjoy the Holidays While on the RoadBack to All Posts