It's Halloween, and there will be more cars as well as more pedestrians on the road tonight than on a typical Wednesday. Here are four tips to avoid behind-the-wheel scares that could cause a car accident this fright night, affecting your auto insurance rates or worse.
Drive slower than normal in residential areas, even before dark. Parents often take younger children trick-or-treating before dark. These little ones are harder to see because of their size and are more likely to dart out in the street suddenly.
Watch for pedestrians crossing the street in unexpected areas. Whether they are impatient parents with little tykes in tow or older children anxious to get to the next house, these pedestrians may cross the street out of the crosswalk and away from intersections. Keep a watchful eye for people on the sides of the roads, and be prepared to stop for any pedestrians who want to cross, regardless of where.
Pass stopped vehicles with extreme caution. The driver of a stopped car may be dropping off children. Even if the car is pulled to the roadside, you can't be sure a driver's side front or rear door won't swing open suddenly.
Drive through puddles and standing water slowly. With much of the east coast still recovering from the effects of superstorm Sandy, some trick-or-treaters will venture out in areas that are still wet. As a driver, remember that driving through water alongside curbs and puddles in intersection can make a large wave. Drive slowly to avoid drenching youngsters walking on sidewalks or waiting at intersections to cross the street.
Will you be taking trick-or-treaters out where there are a lot of cars on the road? What's your strategy for keeping them safe?
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.