When kids hit the street for trick-or-treating, their safety and visibility is as important as their costumes and the candy they collect. But the most important factor in trick-or-treaters safety is the safety of drivers on the road.
Accidents involving pedestrians quadruple on Halloween. Fatal collisions between motor vehicles and young pedestrians (under 15 years of age) happen most frequently between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. – prime trick-or-treating time.
Eighty-four percent of deaths among young pedestrians occurred at non-intersection locations (indicating children are most likely to dart and dash from mid-block into the street). Halloween is also dangerous because of the number of parties that take place. Of all the highway fatalities that take place on Halloween two-thirds of them are alcohol related.
Following are tips for safe driving on this dangerous night:
- Stay well below the posted speed limit.
- Pay attention to what’s happening on sidewalks and roadways. Watch for children darting across streets, especially between parked cars.
- Be extra alert when pulling in and out of driveways.
- Do not assume children can see you or are paying attention.
- Drivers should also check that all lights on their car work.
- Do not pass other vehicles that have stopped in the road. They may be dropping off children.
- Don’t use a cell phone while driving through neighborhoods.
- If you’re driving a group of children, but staying in the running vehicle at the curb, be sure to put on your hazard lights to alert other motorists.
One safety issue on America’s roads that rarely comes to light: dim headlight bulbs and hazy headlight lenses, which may lead to reduced visibility. With kids hitting the streets for trick-or-treating, the importance of clear nighttime visibility increases.
What Causes Hazed Headlights?
A chief culprit of dim headlights is the headlight lens. Millions of cars on the road today have plastic lenses. Unfortunately, these lenses typically don’t hold up to weather and time; they may become hazed and yellowed, reducing the light output from the headlamp. The problem increases with the age of the lens – in addition, the more sun or salt a vehicle is exposed to, the more likely that its plastic headlight lenses may be hazy. This is a common issue on many domestic and foreign automobiles, and isn’t limited to less-expensive vehicles. It’s not uncommon for luxury cars to have hazy headlight lenses, too.
What Is the Simple Solution?
Some of the tips and solutions offered through National Headlight Safety Month are Vehicle Visibility Safety Checks, repair projects for hazed headlights and guides for replacing headlamps and wiper blades.
While replacing headlamps and windshield wiper blades have traditionally been inexpensive repairs, the solution for hazed headlights lenses hasn’t been quite so simple. Replacing lenses can cost up to $1,500. The consumer repair products in the past just polished the lenses but didn’t completely repair the damage, remove the hazing or improve the clarity. But now, an innovative category of repair kits makes it easy for car owners to do the repair themselves, and the category keeps growing.
An innovative solution from 3M Car Care – the 3M Lens Renewal Kit – allows car owners to do the job themselves in approximately an hour, with just a cordless drill, all for less than $30. The Lens Renewal Kit features 3M’s industry-leading products that restore headlights to their like-new condition, maximizing night vision and increasing clarity while driving. It’s an easy, cost-effective and smart way to improve visibility, because the road is full of important reasons to shine a light on safety. 3M also offers a Lens Polish and Protector that helps extend the restoration, keeping headlights clear and bright.
If you are not comfortable doing your own repairs, check with your local repair shop to see how much they charge for the service. It may be worth a little extra money to have it done by a professional.
Source: 3M Car Care (www.Shop3M.com)