Halloween Can Mean More Pedestrian Deaths, Researchers Say


October 31, 2018

October 30, 2018 (katu.com) Halloween is an exciting holiday for kids and parents, but a recent study from Canadian researchers found that Halloween festivities are tied to an increase in pedestrian fatalities. The study details are reported online by katu.com.*

A study published October 30 in JAMA Pediatricslooked at 40 years of U.S. traffic data and found that 608 pedestrian deaths had occurred on Halloween during that time span. The study showed that pedestrians have a 43 percent higher chance of being involved in a fatal traffic accident on Halloween. 

The data was compiled originally by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the researchers compared pedestrian deaths on Halloween night to pedestrian deaths taking place one week before and one week after. The data indicated an average of four more people are killed by vehicles on Halloween than on other nights. 

The researchers’ conclusions mirror those of an analysis conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC examined traffic data from 1975 to 1996 and similarly found that more pedestrians are killed on Halloween.

Because of the volume of children out trick-or-treating on the holiday, kids ages 4 to 8 are most affected by traffic deaths on Halloween. Researchers in the new study found that 55 Halloween pedestrian deaths involved children ages 4 to 8, compared with only 11 on the control days. 

“That age group is maybe particularly excited about Halloween and maybe in the midst of that excitement, loses track of the very real danger that vehicles pose,” said lead author of the study, Dr. John Staples, of the University of British Columbia. “They may be unaware that drivers aren’t able to see them.” 

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