Deadliest Day for Child Pedestrians

With so many children and families trick-or-treating after dark on Halloween night, it comes as no surprise that pedestrians under the age of 18 have a greater chance of being killed by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year.

While it has long been suspected that Halloween is particularly dangerous for young pedestrians, statistics on the subject have only recently become available.

State Farm partnered with researchers at Sperling’s BestPlaces in 2012 to analyze 20 years’ worth of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

The study also revealed more information about the types of risks that children face on Halloween night:

  • Nearly a quarter of fatal child pedestrian crashes occurred between 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM, the “deadliest hour” of Halloween night. More than 60% of these crashes were concentrated between 5:00 PM and 9:00 PM, popular trick-or-treating hours.
  • Over 70% of the crashes occurred mid-block rather than near an intersection or crosswalk.
  • Older children between ages 12 and 15 represented the most fatalities, followed by children ages 5 to 8.
  • Almost a third of the crashes involved a young driver between the ages of 15 and 25.

As you get ready to enjoy your Halloween festivities, make sure to stay alert and drive carefully! Keep the following tips from the National Safety Council and in mind:

  • Watch for children where you might not normally expect to see a pedestrian - darting out from between parked cars, and walking on roadways, curbs, and medians.
  • Drive slowly and enter or exit driveways and alleys carefully.
  • Children are smaller and harder to see than adults.
  • Children may not be able to see your car over bushes or parked vehicles, and may have difficulty judging speed.
  • If you have children who will be trick or treating, review pedestrian safety with them every Halloween.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!