If your teen driver has recently become licensed, Halloween may represent the biggest challenge your driver has experienced yet. It may be a good idea to sit down with your teen and discuss some rules of Halloween driving. Here are some tips on how to do that:
1) Encourage your teen to stay alert and slow down. Children can appear out of nowhere on the road during Halloween. Not all children wait for crosswalks or lights, especially if they are trick or treating or are running between Halloween parties. Your teen will only have time to stop in time if he or she stays alert and watches for children. Encourage your teen driver to drive through residential areas more slowly at this time of year and ensure that your teen is not texting, using their cell phone or otherwise distracted while driving.
2) Consider a no-Halloween driving rule. If your teen has just gotten their license, consider limiting driving to only daylight hours or consider banning your teen for driving on Halloween, just until he or she gains more confidence behind the wheel.
3) Make sure that your teen driver knows to be cautious in the days leading up to Halloween can also be dangerous. Many teens know to be extra-cautious on Halloween night, but excited children dashing into the street do not just happen on Halloween night. In fact, on Halloween itself, children are often supervised. However, children may be in costume – and less closely supervised – when heading home from school in costume or when attending Halloween parties. These situations make pedestrian accidents even more likely because drivers are just not as prepared.
4) Ensure your teen has the experience and the training to drive safe. A refresher course or defensive driving classes can be especially useful for your teen at this time of year, as they can help your teen avoid collisions and accidents. If your teen was licensed and trained in the summer, consider additional training to help your teen adjust to bad weather conditions.
5) Consider having an adult drive with your teen. This can be handy on Halloween, when extra distractions (such as decorated houses and extra pedestrians) can be a problem.
6) If your teen is going to Halloween parties, discuss your no-fault drunk driving rules. There should be one drunk driving rule in your home: never do it. However, if your teen is going to Halloween parties, it is a good idea to remind your teen not to drink and drive. Make sure that your teen has cab fare to get home or knows that he or she can call you at any time for a ride without having to face punishment or penalties.