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Don’t be left in the dark this Halloween, urges GEM


ROAD SAFETY organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging all road users to take extra care on any Halloween excursions this Sunday. The clocks will just have gone back, meaning darkness will fall much earlier, increasing the risks for anyone using the roads.

Darker afternoons mean it’s likely to be much harder for drivers to spot pedestrians and other hazards. The risks increase when you take into account the Halloween trick-or-treaters who are likely to be out and about during Sunday afternoon and evening, warns GEM.

Chief executive Neil Worth says: “It’s impossible to know how many youngsters will be trick-or-treating this year, so we urge drivers to be on the look-out for children in dark costumes – many not accompanied by an adult – whose interest in collecting sweets is likely to trump their thoughts on road safety.

“As drivers, just about all the information we need comes from what we see. So ensuring we see as much as possible will give us the information we need to make good decisions and will mean we’re doing our bit to reduce the risk for all those trick-or-treaters around us.

“We encourage all drivers to turn lights on in good time, but be wise with your full beam and don’t dazzle. We also ask pedestrians to be as conspicuous as possible. Drivers seldom collide with what (or who) they can see.”

Top tips

GEM has assembled an easy-to-follow selection of tips to help drivers reduce collisions, not just on Halloween but throughout the coming weeks as the afternoons get darker:

Remove steam, mist condensation, dirt and ice from lights, windows and mirrors.

In foggy or wet conditions, slow down and use dipped headlights.

Be ready for the effects of glare from the low winter sun, which can reduce visibility. In some circumstances, especially in the late afternoon, glare can leave you with no forward vision at all. Reflected glare from wet roads can also seriously compromise what you’re able to see.

Don’t delay switching on your lights. Even if your view of the road ahead is good, you may be much less visible to other road users, especially if you drive a dark-coloured vehicle.

Neil Worth concludes with advice for young pedestrians: “If you’re allowing your children out for Halloween, whether or not they’re accompanied, please check they are wearing something that will help them be seen easily, especially when it’s dusk or dark. Fluorescent, bright clothing works best by way, but reflective material is needed when it’s dark.”

Follow GEM on Twitter @MotoringAssist for the latest industry news.

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