While Halloween is one of the most fun nights of the year for kids, it's also one of the most dangerous thanks to the number of pedestrians and cars on the road. Children are four times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One car accident, even a minor collision, can cause car insurance rates to climb, so it makes good sense to avoid one from a safety as well as a financial perspective. Follow these tips when you get behind the wheel on Halloween:
- Drive slower than normal and use caution on city streets and in neighborhoods.
- Pay extra attention to children that are nearby. In their excitement, they may cross the street between cars. Cumbersome costumes can cause them to fall unexpectedly.
- When driving on a street that has multiple lanes going the same direction, use the lane toward the center of the road so you have more time to react to children who may run out into traffic.
- If walking with children on Halloween, remind them of the rules for pedestrian safety. They should walk as a group on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, have them walk facing oncoming traffic. Instruct them to cross streets only in crosswalks or at intersections.
- When driving children on Halloween, be sure they are properly buckled in their car seat, booster seat or seat belt. Remove costume elements that interfere with kids being properly restrained. If you make a panic stop, such as to avoid hitting a child that runs into the street, the children in your car could be hurt if they are not properly restrained.
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.