Halloween Safe Driving Tips

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As hard as it is to believe, the end of another year is fast approaching and with it are plenty of driving challenges for motorists to be aware of starting with Halloween night.  State Farm commissioned a study on Halloween pedestrian injuries and fatalities from Bert Sperling of Sperling’s BestPlaces.  What they discovered was an alarming pattern that all parents and drivers need to be aware of before leaving the house on Halloween night.

Researching over four million records from the year 1990 to 2010, Sperling’s BestPlaces concluded there was an average of 5.5 fatalities each year on October 31st.  While that number may sound small, it should be noted that single stat was more than double the 2.6 fatalities for any other day.  According to their research, the deadliest hour on Halloween night occurs between 6:00 and 7 :00 p.m. and over 60% of Halloween accidents happened between 5:00 and 9:oo p.m.

Needless to say, careless driving can transform Halloween night into a very real horror for all the wrong reasons.  With this in mind, your friends at Finnegan Chevrolet, Buick GMC offer the following driving safety tips for Halloween.

PUMP THE BRAKES

Most residential neighborhoods require drivers to keep it under 30 mph in an attempt to keep the number of pedestrian accidents to a minimum.  Of course if you ask anyone who lives in a suburban neighborhood or subdivision you know far too many drivers believe residential speed limits are optional.  It’s important to monitor our speeds through subdivisions at all times and especially on Halloween night.  When trick-or-treaters are out and about, it’s a very good idea to observe School Zone speeds (10 mph lower than the regular posted speeds).  Slow and easy is the only way to roll through the ‘hood on Halloween.

DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?

Your speedometer isn’t the only thing to keep your eyes on.  There are plenty of distractions for the modern motorist from cell phones to colorful touch screen instrumentation displays.  While most of us believe we’re the exception to the rules, the truth of the matter is no one is exempt from the laws of physics.  Distracted drivers have a much slower response time than drivers who are paying attention to their surroundings.  It should come as no surprise that many auto/pedestrian accidents are the result of distracted driving.  When you consider how quickly a small costumed child can (and will) dart into traffic in search for their next treat, the importance of keeping your eyes off of your phone and onto the road cannot be overstated.

 LIGHT IT UP

This may sound like a no-brainer, but you would probably be surprised how many drivers either neglect to turn on their lights or intentionally keep them off to “scare the children”.  The obvious problem with this is darkness = zero visibility.  We feel foolish mentioning this “tip” but sometimes the obvious needs to be stated.  Turning off your lights when driving through a neighborhood filled with trick-or-treaters of every age and size is a recipe for disaster.  So, keep those headlights burning, even in the daylight.

Headlights aren’t the only lights you need to use.  Signal lights are a vital part of communicating your intentions.  Assuming everyone around you can read your mind usually doesn’t end well.  When turning into driveways or onto streets, be sure to use your signal lights so everyone around you knows what you’re doing.

These are just a few common sense tips we hope you’ll put to good use when travelling around your neighborhood on Halloween night.  If we all work together, we can make sure everyone has a happy Halloween…

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To Grandmother’s House We Go: Holiday Traveling Safety Made Easy

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As hard as it is to believe, the holiday season is here and for many of us, that means one thing: road trip. While you’re making your plans to visit friends and relatives, Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC would like to offer the following suggestions to insure your holidays are truly happy ones.

WINTER IS COMING

Living in Houston has many benefits, not the least of which is the mild winters and the typically non-wintery driving conditions. Unfortunately, the lack of snow or ice on the roads can be a double-edged sword as most Houstonians do not have much experience driving in regions where winter comes with road hazards of every imaginable shape and size. So, before you set out on your journey to grandma’s house, be sure to prepare yourself for wintery driving conditions.

  • Plan ahead by checking weather forcasts and plotting your course wisely
  • In the event of any major wintery conditions, always remember main highways and freeways will always be cleared first so plan to use these as much as possible.
  • Make sure your mobile device is charged up in the event of an emergency
  • Be sure your vehicle has emergency supplies (batteries, first aid kid, road flares, etc) before you set of on your journey.
  • Above all else, be sure you are familiar with the many driving techniques and specialty supplies for driving in wintery conditions.

REST FOR THE WEARY

Yeah, we know. Making time for a nap when you’re getting ready for a family trip is about as realistic as retiring on your privately owned tropical island.  That said, nothing makes a road trip seem more like eternal damnation than driving while worn-out. While planning out your itenerary, it would be a great idea to schedule some downtime or even a 15 minute power nap before you start rolling.

 BRAKE FOR BREAKS

Speaking of ‘power naps’, taking breaks during your road trip, especially when you’re tired, is a fool-proof way to cure bobbleheaditis.  We know the temptaiton of trying to shave off a few minutes from your travel time, but if the choice is saving a few minutes or saving lives, we’re pretty sure we know which side of the ledger you’ll want to be a part of. If your family is anything like ours, we’re sure they’d rather you arrive a little late than not at all. So, factor in some time for breaks or even an overnight stay at a hotel if you find yourself unable to continue on the journey safely. Better to crash at Motel 6 than anywhere else along the road.

NO NEED FOR SPEED

Another safe driving tip, especially in the winter time, is to watch your speed. Giving plenty of time and distance between your fellow drivers is always a good driving policy, especially when you’re driving in unsafe weather conditions. As challenging as it may be to keep it under 80 mph, its always a good idea to maintain safe rates of speed. We know your family won’t mind if you didn’t break any land speed records as long as you arrive at your destination safely.

DRINK RESPONSIBLY

If the adult beverages are flowing freely at the family gathering, be sure to plan ahead for the return trip. Set a designated driver or simply plan to stay until you’ve recovered from the revelings. Traffic statistics have shown the average number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities rise over 30% during the holiday traveling season. You can prevent yourself and your family from becoming a part of those statistics by planning ahead and celebrating wisely.

FINAL THOUGHTS

We hope these tips will help you in your holiday planning so you can insure you and your loved ones have many more holiday road trips in the future. Just use your common sense and plan ahead and we can all have a very happy 2016. Your friends at Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC want to wish you and yours a wonderful and safe holiday season…

(c) 2013 Finnegan Auto Blog