As parents we tend to fret about children and every Halloween there are stories about hazards such as tainted candy and “stranger danger.” These stories often prove to be overblown but the real danger on Halloween is that it is the most deadly day of the year for young pedestrians.
That’s a fact we uncovered in a research project we recently completed for State Farm insurance. Kids have a greater chance of being fatally injured by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year, including the Fourth of July.
We analyzed more than four million records of auto fatalities in the Department of Transportation Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), ranging from 1990 to 2010. Here’s what we found…
Halloween Was Deadliest Day of the Year for Child Pedestrian Accidents
One hundred and fifteen child pedestrian fatalities occurred on Halloween over the 21 years of our analysis. That is an average of 5.5 fatalities each year on October 31, which is more than double the average number of 2.6 fatalities for other days.
Middle of the Block Most Hazardous
Over 70% of the accidents occurred away from an intersection or crosswalk.
Ages Most at Risk on Halloween
Most of the fatalities occurred with children ages 12-15 (32% of all child fatalities), followed by children ages 5-8 (23%).
Drivers Who Posed the Greatest Risk
Young drivers ages 15-25 accounted for nearly one-third of all fatal accidents involving child pedestrians on Halloween.
Drivers Who Posed the Lowest Risk
Drivers ages 36-40 and 61-65 were involved in the fewest child pedestrian fatalities on Halloween. Together, these age groups accounted for nine child pedestrian fatalities (8%) in the 21 years of the study.
Click here for a free pdf of the whole report, including the methodology and full-size charts.