We’re really big on road safety and keeping your loved ones secure, so continuing from our last blog about Halloween Safety and the mindset changes all drivers must consider making between the hours of 4pm and 6pm on 31st October every year, we are reminded that just a few days later the skies will be full of fireworks and the air will be thick with smoke, and it got us thinking about what it’s like to be out and about on Guy Fawkes Night.
A few years ago I was driving along the A1 on my way to pick someone up from the airport on 5 November. While they had a lovely flight in seeing an astonishing array of colours and designs sparkling and filling the sky below them, I was dealing with loud bangs, drifting smoke and embers from bonfires and the air thick with the aftermath of ‘the grand finale’.
If you’ve ever seen a firework display or set them off at home (don’t get us started on that one!) you’ll know the amount of debris and smoke that follows. Now imagine driving down a major motorway, in the dark with that going on either side of the road, sometimes quite close to the road. It’s not just motorways – some delightful (!) neighbours once set of a huge set of fireworks from their front garden and we couldn’t see the road or our driveway, let alone be sure there were no scared animals or children hiding that we might hit as we tried to park.
Have to drive on Guy Fawkes Night? Be Safe and be mindful.
🚗 Animals DO NOT LIKE FIREWORKS! You might think your pet is OK with them but they’re not; they don’t understand it and loud noises produce a ‘fight or flight’ response. Now, imagine wildlife scurrying around trying to get away from the noise, the flames, the heat…where are they likely to go? Yep, they’ll probably get spooked and run away, and that can include onto roads, at speed, while under distress. Be vigilant and have a mind for those creatures that don’t really know what’s going on and are trying to find safety.
🚗 Focus! Driving along while fireworks are going off is very distracting. The noise, the smell, the bright colours – it all adds up to a sensory overload that could lead to mistakes.
🚗 Be mindful of scared small people too. If you’re transporting your child anywhere they may not be keen on the noise and the smell and be restless and distracting in the car.
🚗 Surface roads are likely to be clogged with people abandoning their cars in search of the perfect fireworks display. And people will be doing their best impression of Frogger hopping between cars to cross the road. Eyes wide open, foot hovering on the brake.
🚗 What to do if you get struck by a rogue firework or flying bonfire embers. Pull over in a safe place – exit the car – call the fire brigade.
Have a safe and happy Fireworks Night, enjoy a toffee apple or some cinder toffee and wrap up warm!