Not even a pandemic will stop Halloween and after months of the unrelenting doldrums, folks are looking towards holidays to have some fun. Haunted attractions have mostly been shut down across the country so the clever and creative haunt industry has made a brilliant pivot and conceived of the drive-thru horror experience. (The Haunted Road in Central Florida is one such attraction.) The concept sounds fantastic and will keep even the most timid safely within the metal frame of a car. I'm excited to see how these are done but do have to wonder about expected and unexpected safety issues.
I have a friend who is an intelligent, college-educated individual but put him in a horror maze and his adrenalin-fueled imagination causes the otherwise composed person to push and shove children and older adults out of the way. I've seen it and it's terrifyingly hilarious to watch. Now put a highly suggestible person like this in a car and that behavior might be cause for alarm.
Also, at every haunt I've ever been to, many enthusiasts have been drinking or enjoying herbal supplements to heighten the experience. Add distracting spectacles of fear, selfies, friends yelling in the car and where does that leave the haunt actors against a 2800 lb. vehicle? Even at a respectable distance, all-wheel-drive SUVs can really overcome many obstacles. Are they lining the roads with rubber tires or some other thing to act as bumpers? Or will it be ditches? If a person has an accident along the route, what happens to all those cars behind him? I'm sure all these questions and more have been considered, right?
The driver will always be responsible party regardless of the circumstances so lets hope the one with all the wits is behind the wheel. And as with all new attractions there will be hiccups, so patience will also be needed. The haunt industry is struggling, and unlike many other businesses, they only get one month to recoup losses. In the S.F. Bay Area, I've heard of one drive through experience, Pirates of Emerson, so I look forward to reporting back. To my friends, NOT IT. Someone else is driving.