The leaves are turning orange, the days are getting shorter, and everyone's favourite October event is on the horizon: Halloween.
Celebrated on October 31st every year, Halloween marks the end of summer and the harvest and signifies the beginning of winter.
Due to its links with the dead and the supernatural, modern-day Halloween is celebrated by dressing in costumes, trick-or-treating and indulging in the macabre.
There are a few things you need to take into consideration when driving on Halloween night.
Read on and find out our top tips to staying safe this Halloween.
Top Tips For Staying Safe
Since the clocks go back in October, the evenings are getting darker, meaning your headlights will likely be switched on much earlier.
Before Halloween night, take the time to double-check all your bulbs and lights are working well to ensure you have the best visibility.
Make sure your headlights are free from mud or dirt to ensure they are as bright as possible.
If you need to change a bulb, check your vehicle handbook to find out which bulbs you need and whether you need a pair of pliers or a screwdriver.
You can buy light bulbs from most good automotive shops. A mechanic will be able to help you with which bulbs you need.
To learn how to change the bulb, ChrisFix on YouTube has a handy how-to guide:
You should always obey the speed limit, but extra precautions should be taken on Halloween night - especially in residential areas.
Children may be crossing roads and darting out in front of your car with little warning, so it is important to drive at a safe speed where you can perform an emergency stop if necessary.
Both children and adults are more likely to be dressed in dark costumes, so they might not be as easy to spot – another reason to make sure your headlights are working well.
Stay Off The Drink
Halloween isn’t just fun for children – many of us adults get together to celebrate Halloween night with fun costumes and a couple of drinks.
However, this could lead to an especially scary night out if you aren't careful. Not to worry, though, as there are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks which drivers can enjoy instead.
If you are heading to a friend’s Halloween party this October, be sure to plan your journey in advance.
Pre-book your taxi home to avoid waiting in queues so you can get a ride right away when you are ready to head home.
Of course, this advice isn’t just for Halloween. Driving under the influence is against the law, incredibly dangerous, and selfish.
Never drive your car after drinking an alcoholic beverage.
Don’t Overtake Stopped Cars
Whilst it may be tempting to overtake cars that may have stopped in your way, this could lead to a potentially dangerous situation.
Parents may be stopping to drop off or pick up their children from parties or trick or treating.
Waiting a few seconds for them to move could save a life.
Unfortunately, some people take Halloween fun a little too far.
Whilst some Halloween pranks are relatively harmful, if you are a car owner, you may find your vehicle being subject to some pesky pranks.
If you find yourself a victim of a Halloween prank, here is how you can resolve the issue.
A popular Halloween prank involves ‘egging’ cars. This is the act of throwing a raw egg so that it smashes and makes a mess.
It may seem harmless, but the reality is that egg whites can cause permanent damage to your paintwork if it dries.
With this in mind, here are some top tips for removing eggs from your paintwork.
Hose Down With High Pressure
If you have notice the eggs on your car early on, then a spray with a high-pressure hose and a bit of soap might get the job done.
Hose the stain down and use some car soap mixed with warm water to wash the area.
Use a car sponge to get rid of the stain. You can buy car washing equipment from your local auto shop.
Soak Stubborn Stains
If you didn't notice the mark until the next day, then it may take a bit more work to remove the stain.
Mix car soap and hot water in a spray bottle and spray this on the egg, allowing it to sit. Soaking the stain will soften the egg whites and shells.
After leaving this to soak for as long as possible, you can use a scrubbing brush with soft bristles to loosen the stain.
White vinegar and water will also work well. It is important to use a soft-bristled brush, so you don’t scratch the paintwork.
Waterless spray can be purchased from most auto shops or online and delivers strong cleaning power.
If the above steps haven’t quite done the job, try using a waterless spray to shift the stain.
‘Silly String’ is a toy which shoots plastic, brightly-coloured string from an aerosol can.
The military has used it in the past to detect tripwires before, but it tends to make an appearance every October in time for the Halloween pranks.
It might look like light-hearted fun, but the chemicals in the current formulation can seriously damage your car’s paintwork.
The fluid plastic resin sticks to the surface of your car, making the clean-up process slightly more difficult.
In fact, Silly String is banned in Los Angeles on Halloween night for this very reason.
So, what do you do if you get ‘Silly-Stringed’?
If It Hasn’t Dried
If you manage to catch the prank before the string has dried, you can use a power hose to blast the string off from your car without damaging the paintwork.
This method is ideal, as rubbing the string with a sponge or a cloth may spread the string and make it harder to clean.
If It Has Dried
If the prank happened overnight and you find the evidence in the morning, unfortunately, this is going to be slightly trickier to fix.
If the power hose doesn’t work, you could try using a lubricant such as WD40 on a cotton swab to ease the stain from the paintwork.
If you don’t have any WD40, you can mix white distilled vinegar with warm water and apply this, rubbing gently with a cotton swab or a soft cloth.
We hope you have a wonderful Halloween night this year!