For motorists, the spooky part about Halloween is that little ghouls and goblins often dress in dark colors and in costumes that cover their eyes, and some get so excited they simply forget road safety rules.
To help keep trick-or-treaters as safe as possible, the Car Care Council reminds motorists to drive slowly, especially through neighborhoods, to be extra careful when entering or exiting driveways or alleyways, and make sure the vehicle’s brakes and lights work properly.
Symptoms of brake problems are: The car pulls to one side during braking, the brake pedal pulsates when applying the brakes, the brake pedal feels “mushy,” there is a noise when stepping on the brake pedal, and the master cylinder repeatedly needs brake fluid.
The brake system is the most critical safety system on a vehicle and any problems should be checked out immediately. Brakes are a normal wear item and eventually need replacement.
Drivers should also check that all lights on the car are working. This year, the end of Daylight Saving Time isn’t until November 7, which means that many trick-or-treaters will be out at dusk.
Driving at dusk is difficult because although the sky is still bright, objects on the road can merge with shadows and fade into darkness.
While drivers can do their part to keep children safe on Halloween, adults should remind trick-or-treaters to get out of cars on the curb side and not the traffic side, to stop at all corners and to use crosswalks.
Children should look left, right and left again before crossing, stay on sidewalks, avoid crossing through yards and wear bright, reflective and flame retardant clothing.
“Motorists should take a few precautionary steps before Halloween to make sure brakes and lights are working properly. Plus, they should drive slowly and carefully.
This combination will go a long way toward keeping trick-or-treaters safe,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org