Halloween is deadliest day of the year for child pedestrian fatalities

Online Staff Report

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 and New Year’s Day.

State Farm teamed up with research expert Bert Sperling of Sperling’s BestPlaces to better understand the risk kids face as they take to the streets in search of treats.

Sperling’s BestPlaces analyzed more than 4 million records in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) from 1990 to 2010 for children 0-18 years of age Oct. 31. That detailed analysis revealed the following:

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 the analysis. That is an average of 5.5 fatalities each year on Oct. 31, which is more than double the average number of 2.6 fatalities for other days.

The ‘deadliest hour’

Nearly one-fourth (26 out of 115) of accidents occurred from 6 to 7 p.m. More than 60 percent of the accidents occurred in the four-hour period from 5 to 9 p.m.

Middle of the block most hazardous

More than 70 percent 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 percent of all child fatalities), followed by children ages 5-8 (23 percent).

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 percent) in the 21 years of the study.

Fatalities declining

Each of the last six years of the study (2005-2010) has seen Halloween child fatalities below the 21-year average of 5.5.

State Farm wants children to be safe every day of the year, whether they are inside or outside of a car,” said Kellie Clapper, assistant vice president of public affairs at State Farm. “The analysis of this data highlights the particular need for parents to be especially alert during Halloween.”

State Farm and Sperling’s BestPlaces encourage responsible driving every day of the year, and especially this Halloween as costumed children fill the streets. If you must drive, avoid all distractions, turn off the radio, put down the smart phone and be alert for the unexpected. Fully engaged drivers can make 2012 the year of zero child pedestrian fatalities.

For additional child safety information, visit http://st8.fm/safekid.

For additional information about State Farm’s findings, see http://st8.fm/Halloween.

Posted Oct. 30, 2012

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