There are so many Halloween and Fall Festival events going on this weekend in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, it should be easy to find the activities that are just right for you and your family and friends. That’s one of the advantages of living in a large, diverse area.
Here at Accident and Injury Chiropractic, we love to make people aware of events available to them that can add so richly to their lives. But as we all enjoy the games, pumpkin contests, mazes, food trucks, bounce houses, face painting, costume contests, trick-or-treating, and so much more, we need to remember to take extra precautions to stay safe on the roads.
The two greatest risks on the roads this weekend will be trick-or-treaters and drunk drivers. Because Halloween falls on a Monday this year, parties and trick-or-treating events are scheduled to begin as early as Friday, October 29th, so we can’t just think we need to be extra careful on Halloween. Here are some basic things to remember as you enjoy the upcoming, long weekend.
- Fall festivals and Halloween parties mean more traffic. More cars on the road mean more chances of getting into an accident. Traffic congestion also makes drivers frustrated, and frustrated drivers tend to be more careless. To help alleviate the situation, first find ways to prevent your own frustration. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Listen to calming music to mitigate frayed nerves. Smile when you can, even if another driver cuts you off. And be kind yourself. Let drivers in rather than squeezing them out.
- Trick-or-treaters pose their own risk. Before you even back out of the driveway, look for children behind your car. Because they can dash behind you at any point, proceed slowly and expect the unexpected.
- As you drive, continue to watch for children—especially for those in dark costumes that may not be as visible when the sun goes down. Some costumes may make it difficult for trick-or-treaters to see or to maneuver. In addition, children who are trick-or-treating are excited and may not always think about safety rules. This means they may not wait at crosswalks—if they use them at all. They also may be very young and not as aware of the risks of being on the roads. Children can dart out in front of you at any time, so be aware.
- Drive more slowly than you normally would. Consider reducing your overall speed by 10 MPH. Also, be extra cautious when going around bends or turning onto new streets.
- Don’t drive distracted! Put down your cell phone. Leave that pumpkin latte in the cup holder for the duration of the drive. Keep in-car conversation to a minimum. Anything that can distract you from being able to keep your complete focus on the road is a no-no.
- If you are driving trick-or-treaters yourself, be sure to use proper turn signals and hazard lights to let people know you are pulling over and stopping. Assume the other drivers aren’t paying close attention and make decisions accordingly.
- Last, but certainly not least, holiday parties mean more drunk drivers on the roads. If you can do so, avoid driving late at night. If you do need to drive, expect drunk drivers and drive defensively. If you do suspect a driver is drunk, report the car immediately, and move away from the vehicle to avoid an accident. If you need to, get off the road until the driver is out of range. And of course, if you drink, have a designated driver.
There’s so much we can all safely enjoy this weekend! And remember, if you are in an accident, Accident & Injury Chiropractic is here for you every step of the way!