Driving on Halloween can be frightening for motorists, especially when little "ghouls" and "goblins" - out after dark and full of excitement - forget road safety rules or wear costumes or masks that limit their vision. To help ensure safety on a night reserved for fun, the Car Care Council reminds motorists to drive slowly, be extra careful when entering or exiting driveways or alleyways, and make sure the vehicle's brake system works properly.
The vehicle's brake system is its most critical safety item but brakes wear out and eventually need replacement. The factors that affect wear are driving habits, operating conditions, vehicle type and the quality of the brake lining material. Symptoms of brake problems include the following:
* The car pulls to one side during braking;
* The brake pedal pulsates when the brakes are applied;
* The brake pedal feels "mushy;"
* There is a noise when stepping on the brake pedal; and
* There is a repeated need to add brake fluid to the master cylinder.
Drivers should also check the windshield wipers and windshield fluid, as well as the vehicle's lights for maximum performance and visibility on Halloween.
Parents and adults should remind their 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.
"We can help keep young pedestrians safe on Halloween by checking the vehicle's safety items, reminding children of basic safety rules and taking extra precautions when driving through neighborhoods," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.