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The Deadliest Days for Halloween [25-Year Study]

Things to Remember

  • Sunday, 2004, was the deadliest Halloween in 25 years with 143 fatal car crashes
  • Wednesday, 2012, was the safest Halloween with just 80 fatal car crashes
  • Halloweens on average result in a 14 percent rise in fatal car crashes

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Halloween is one of the most dangerous holidays of the year. Between drunk drivers and children trick-or-treating, the risk of being harmed makes it both a threat to the older partying age group and children who just want to enjoy the fun of dressing up. Halloween fatal car crashes are a major concern.

Is Halloween more dangerous for children or pedestrians, what is the main cause of death on Halloween, and what are the deadliest days for Halloween? This article covers those two questions by digging into fatal crashes on Halloween and the resulting pedestrian, child, and drunk driving deaths that occurred.

Halloweens on weekdays have also been more dangerous than those on weekends, according to our previous studies. We’ll see if this is true for 2020 and our analysis of the fatal crashes of the 25 past Halloweens.

To get a quick glimpse of what those most dangerous Halloweens are, take a look at our graph above. It shows the number of fatal crashes on Halloween from 1994 to 2018 along with how that number compares to the average fatal crashes on all instances of that day for that same time period.

For every parent out there with their children trick-or-treating, it’s good information to know. But for drivers, it is as well. Accidents are one of the factors that affect auto insurance rates.

Auto insurance rate spikes after accidents are not abnormal. If you’re involved in an accident on Halloween and found at-fault, your auto insurance rates could rise a great deal. However, some auto insurance companies approach accidents differently, offering accident-forgiveness and other discounts that affect your insurance rates.

To find the right auto insurance company for you, check out our best auto insurance companies in 2021 page. There you’ll find auto insurance rate comparisons, financial strength ratings, market share information, and more.

You can also enter your ZIP code into our FREE online quote comparison tool to get a jump on finding a quote. It’ll give you the best rates based on your demographic information and your area.

In this guide to Halloween and fatal crashes, we’ll also cover some general topics related to Halloween and even the coronavirus pandemic. Topics include:

  • Why trick or treating might be dangerous during COVID-19
  • Halloween safety statistics and tips in 2020
  • Halloween accidents statistics
  • The dangers of Halloween
  • Reasons why Halloween is dangerous

We’ll also try to answer the question, “Is it safe to go trick-or-treating in 2020?” Not just from a fatal crash standpoint but also when taking into account COVID-19.

Now, ready to see the deadliness of Halloween? You may never look at this seemingly innocent celebration the same again.

Table of Contents

The Deadliest Nights for Halloween Involving Children

Let’s start with the big question that’s on everyone’s mind, particularly the minds of parents: How dangerous is Halloween for children every year?

To answer that question, we must take a look at how dangerous days are for children in the first place. According to our in-house analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics, children have been involved in an average of 4.1 fatal crashes every day starting in 2004.

The graph below shows each Halloween for the past 15 years according to the number of fatal crashes each Halloween had involving children from 0 to 17 years old after 4 p.m.

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Almost all days resulted in an increase in fatal crashes. The only two that didn’t were Halloweens in 2017 and 2018.

What are the deadliest days of the week? In the following list, we look at the number of fatal crashes children are involved in for every day of the week.

  • Sunday: 3.73
  • Monday: 3.20
  • Tuesday: 2.97
  • Wednesday: 2.99
  • Thursday: 3.19
  • Friday: 4.91
  • Saturday: 4.86

Overall, the deadliest days of the week for children are the same days that are the most dangerous for all people: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

How much more dangerous are Halloweens for children? People below the age of 18 are involved in an average of 8.3 fatal crashes on Halloween nights between 4 p.m. and midnight. That’s 4.2 more fatal crashes than the average non-Halloween day and a jump of 130.1 percent in fatal crashes on Halloween days versus non-Halloween days.

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Now, which Halloween nights are the most dangerous for children? Here are the average fatal crashes involving children on Halloweens depending on the day of the week.

  • Sunday: 7.50
  • Monday: 8.00
  • Tuesday: 9.00
  • Wednesday: 5.33
  • Thursday: 9.00
  • Friday: 12.00
  • Saturday: 7.50

While you can look at the most dangerous days according to how many fatal crashes they have, we also added a more specific metric: What is the percentage rise or fall of fatal crashes on Halloweens compared to the number of fatal crashes on that average day?

An example of that is that Mondays for all 25 years average 84.4 fatal crashes. But Halloweens on Mondays average 98.8 fatal crashes. Then: What is the average rise comparing Halloween Mondays to the average Monday?

The four days that jumped the most in terms of percentage of fatal crashes are all weekdays: Tuesday (203 percent), Thursday (182 percent), Monday (150 percent), and Friday (145 percent).

The three days that rose the smallest are two weekend days and one weekday: Saturday (54 percent), Wednesday (79 percent), and Sunday (101 percent).

The most dangerous days for children on Halloweens are mostly during the week, while Halloweens that fall generally on weekends are the safest. Now, let’s jump to the deadliest Halloweens for children in the past 25 years.

Deadliest Halloweens for Children in the Past 15 Years

So, we’ve looked at the deadliest Halloweens for children depending on what day those Halloweens fall on. Now, let’s find out the deadliest Halloweens overall for children in the past 15 years.

To come up with this list, we used a single metric: the number of fatal crashes per Halloween after 4 p.m. involving children between 0 and 17 years of age. The five deadliest Halloweens all have 10 fatal crashes or higher.

  1. Tuesday, 2006: 14
  2. Friday, 2014: 14
  3. Sunday, 2004: 12
  4. Monday, 2016: 11
  5. Friday, 2008: 10

Four out of the five deadliest Halloweens are on weekdays. Just one day falls on a weekend: Sunday in 2014.

The Deadliest Day for Halloween Involving Pedestrians

Children face a dangerous evening every Halloween, but there is another group that suffers more than usual on Halloweens — pedestrians.

Like children, pedestrians experience an uptick in their involvement of fatal crashes. How much is that uptick? The average rise for fatal crashes involving pedestrians when all days of the week are combined is 55.6 percent.

You have a 55.6 percent higher risk of being involved in a fatal accident during Halloween as a pedestrian. The worst day is Thursday, when pedestrians have an 82.8 percent higher risk.

The worst three days are during the week (Thursday, Monday, and Tuesday) with an average 73.6 percent higher risk. What are the five deadliest Halloweens for pedestrians in the past 25 years? The minimum number of fatal crashes for these days is 24.

  1. Saturday, 1998: 27
  2. Thursday, 1996: 26
  3. Thursday, 2002: 24
  4. Sunday, 2004: 24
  5. Friday, 2008: 24

The average number of fatal crashes involving pedestrians for all Halloweens is 21.

Weekday vs. Weekend Halloween Fatal Car Crashes

There has been a debate in recent years whether Halloween should get moved to the weekend. That might help curb issues like drunk driving or give people an opportunity to recover after Halloween without requiring them to go to work.

Are weekday Halloweens more dangerous than weekend Halloweens? Check out the numbers in the chart below. They cover four statistics:

  1. Average fatal crashes on Halloweens per day of the week
  2. Average fatal crashes per day of the week from 1994 to 2018
  3. The difference in those crashes per day of the week
  4. The percentage increase or decrease from Halloween fatal crashes to regular

Each day of the week is represented, from Sunday to Saturday. What you see might surprise you.

Halloween Fatal Crashes vs 25-Year Average for Each Day
Day of the WeekAvg. Halloween Fatal CrashesAvg. Fatal Crashes OverallDifference: Halloween vs Avg.% Change
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Halloween in general is much more dangerous than the average day. 109 fatal crashes happen on average every Halloween, while 96 fatal crashes occur on average every day that isn’t a Halloween.

Overall, almost every single day of the week has a higher number of fatal crashes on Halloween than non-Halloween days. The average rise in fatal crashes on Halloween days versus non-Halloween days is 14.2 percent.

The deadliest day for Halloween is Thursday with 110 average fatal crashes, compared to 88 average fatal crashes on non-Halloween days. That’s a rise of 24.6 percent.

The safest day for Halloween, if percentage rise or decline is the metric, is Saturday. While Halloweens on Saturdays still average 117 fatal crashes, non-Halloween Saturdays average 123 fatal crashes.

Saturday is our only day of the week that drops in the number of fatal crashes and declines overall: six crashes and a 4.9 percent drop. Now, which set of days is more dangerous for Halloween: weekdays or weekends?

Weekend Halloweens pose the least risk compared to weekday Halloweens. Sunday and Saturday Halloweens show an increase of just 4.3 percent in fatal crashes. Weekday Halloweens have an increase of 18.9 percent.

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Saturdays are the only day when the number of fatal crashes decreases on Halloweens. Four of the five weekdays (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday) have a higher rise in fatal crashes on Halloween compared to both Saturdays and Sundays.

Along with certain days being deadlier than others, some auto makes can be more dangerous — whether that’s due to the driver profiles who buy them or fewer safety features.

In our study about which auto makes get in the most fatal crashes, our experts found that Ford was the most dangerous auto brand, accounting for a little over 21,000 fatal crashes during our study period and a little more than 17 percent of all fatal crashes for all auto manufacturers.

Deadliest Day for Halloween Overall

When it comes to the deadliest day for Halloween, there are two specific statistics that our in-house team looked at: the number of overall fatal crashes and the percentage rise when comparing Halloween fatal crashes to the average day.

Fridays are the deadliest day for average fatal crashes on Halloweens with 129.

The second metric involves a familiar day: Thursdays are the deadliest day for percentage rise in fatal crashes on Halloween at 24.6 percent. Both are weekdays. To give a quick preview about our next section, check out this graphic that shows the five deadliest Halloweens from 1994 to 2018.

As you can see, the majority of them occur in the first 12 years of our sample, while just one occurs after 2006 with the Friday of Halloween in 2008.

All of the five deadliest Halloweens show high increases in fatal crashes compared to that day’s average fatal crashes, with the lowest number of total fatal crashes being 131 on Sunday of 1999.

How does Halloween stack up against other deadly holidays like Independence Day and Labor Day? Take a look at our study about the ten deadliest holidays to drive.

5 Deadliest and Safest Halloweens Since 1994

We’ve already talked about the deadliest Halloweens for children, pedestrians, and overall. Let’s take a look at the five deadliest Halloweens (which we previewed in the previous section) and safest Halloweens since 1994.

The following graphic shows the five worst and best Halloweens in the past 25 years. Each is listed by day of the week, year, fatal crash total, and percentage increase in fatal crashes compared to that day of the week but non-Halloween.

Three of the five days are weekend days: two Sundays and one Saturday. The average fatal number of crashes for the five deadliest Halloweens is 137. The average percentage increase in fatal crashes is 24.5 percent.

Most of the deadliest Halloweens are in the first half of our sample as well, between 1994 to 2006.

Just one is out of that range: Friday in 2008. The five safest Halloweens are just about the complete opposite of the deadliest Halloweens. They are all on weekdays: two Tuesdays, two Wednesdays, one Monday.

The average number of fatal crashes is 85, and the average percentage increase in fatal crashes is 2.1 percent. Four out of the five days are in the later years (2007-2018). The only one that isn’t is Tuesday, 2006.

The #1 Cause of Halloween Car Crash Deaths

There are many factors involved in fatal crashes throughout all days of the year and on Halloween. But there is one factor that is disproportionately involved in Halloween fatal crashes, and it’s a disturbing one.

According to Traffic Safety Marketing (TSM), which is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, 42 percent of all crashes on Halloween nights between 2013 and 2017 involved at least one drunk driver.

Halloween is a big party night, even if the date falls on weekdays, which may contribute to the number of fatal crashes involving a drunk driver.  Also, holidays in general tend to have a larger percentage of their crashes involving drunk drivers than normal.

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This can be magnified as well when the holiday traveling period starts and people begin driving across the country to visit family. Fortunately, by following a few tips, you can make the holiday travel season as stress-free as possible.

Many of the issues drivers face on Halloween night are similar to those traveling during the holidays, even though Halloween is about a month before the holiday traveling season.

In fatal crashes involving a drunk driver on Halloween nights between 2013 and 2017, 158 people were killed. This behavior is even more dangerous as kids are trick-or-treating throughout many neighborhoods, walking on sides or even crossing streets, which puts them at a higher risk than normal due to the number of drunk drivers.

Moving Halloween to Saturday: 3 Supporting Statistics

One interesting question about all these statistics is: Are Halloweens on weekdays or weekends more dangerous? To answer that question, we looked at two statistics involving three categories of fatal crashes for Halloween weekdays vs. Halloween weekends:

  1. Fatal crash totals and percent increase of all fatal crashes on Halloweens
  2. The same two metrics but for fatal crashes involving pedestrians
  3. The same two metrics but for fatal crashes involving children at 4 p.m. or later

The statistics are abundantly clear: Halloweens on weekends are far safer than those on weekdays. Check out the statistics in the graphic below:

In each case, Halloween weekdays have a higher percentage increase in fatal crashes. In two instances, there are actually a higher number of fatal crashes occurring on weekday Halloweens compared to weekend Halloweens.

That statistic is surprising and a little shocking, as Saturdays and Sundays are consistently the most dangerous days to drive. It appears Halloween alone jumped weekday Halloweens above weekend Halloween when it came to fatal crashes.

Impact of Car Crashes on Auto Insurance

When someone gets in a car accident, usually their first thoughts are about their safety and the safety of the other driver and their passengers, especially if the accident was serious.

But soon, either during the process of swapping insurance information or dealing with a police officer, the person begins to think about the insurance ramifications.

A driver involved in an accident could be on the hook for thousands of dollars if they don’t have insurance. If they do, there likely will be a jump in rates. How much do those rates jump?

In the following graphic, look at the rates of the five worst insurance companies and their penalties for a single accident. These five worst companies are taken from the largest 10 insurance companies overall.

The company with the largest percentage increase is Geico. From a clean record of $2,146, its rates jumped $1,047 to $3,193 with one accident, an increase of 48.8 percent. That’s a steep price from the company that offers some of the cheapest auto insurance rates.

To get a better rate through discounts or other factors after an accident, go to our Geico Auto Insurance Review to find out how you can save more on your rate.

The company with the largest dollar increase is Progressive at a $1,384 increase per single accident. Luckily, for policyholders with Progressive, we have a Progressive Direct Auto Insurance Guide to find out ways you can lower your rate.

The rate increases for all five worst companies for getting in an accident are above $1,000 and the percentage increases of rates are all 30.6 percent or above.

For customers of those companies, paying a much higher rate doesn’t necessarily have to happen. There are auto insurance companies that offer cheap auto insurance after an accident.

American Family is the company with the third-worst rise in rates after an accident, and unfortunately for American Family policyholders, the insurance company is one of the most expensive out of the largest 10 companies.

Fortunately, we have an American Family Auto Insurance Review that can save you money on your rate through discounts or inform you about the average American Family rates in your state.

Halloweens also cause a spike in vandalism, with some cities seeing a spike of 100 percent or more in vandalism claims. The Highway Loss Data Institute, an organization affiliated with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), notes that the rate of vandalism claims during the Halloween period is 1.8, or 81 percent higher than the norm.

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This means that 81 percent more claims are filed during the Halloween period than for the average day. This is especially true in the case of Philadelphia and San Diego, which have 100 percent more claims filed.

For counties, Atlantic County, New Jersey, has a vandalism claim rate of 5.7, which means that 470 percent more claims are filed for vandalism in that county.

The insurance that protects against vandalism damage is called comprehensive auto insurance. Like other insurances, filing a claim also likely leads to a rise in rates.

In the video above, The Wall Street Journal covers the trend among auto insurance companies to significantly raise rates when a driver is found at-fault in an accident where evidence shows they were driving distracted. While many only think of using cellphones while driving as the sole form of distraction, there are other modes of distraction, including eating while driving or fiddling with the radio.

The Past 25 Halloween Statistics

We’ve shown you the highlights from our Deadliest Halloweens in the Past 25 Years study. Now, we’ve listed the statistics for all of the past 25 Halloweens from 1994 to 2018. Check them out in the chart below.

All Halloweens 1994 - 2018 Compared
Day of the WeekYearFatal Crashes on Halloween DayAvg. Daily Fatal Crashes that YearHalloween Fatal Crashes vs Annual Avg. (+/-)
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As you can see, many of the worst Halloweens in terms of fatal crashes occurred in the first half of our sample set, from 1994 to 2005. In that period, 10 out of 11 Halloweens had 100 fatal crashes or more.

Eight out of the next 13 Halloweens had fewer than 100 fatal crashes. While there is not a deliberate cause identified in this drop, it may be the result of continued education about drunk driving and the rise of Uber and Lyft. These two companies make ride-sharing or taxi services much easier, which can reduce drunk driving as a whole.

Moving Halloween to the Weekend Saves Lives

Now, at the end of the day, how do we make sense of these statistics? The first deduction is simple: Halloween is a more dangerous day for drivers compared to the average day. The only day in the week that is not true is Saturday, where fatal crashes were reduced by 5 percent.

Halloween is also a more dangerous day when it comes to fatal crashes for children and pedestrians.

Finally, the main culprit that makes Halloween more dangerous is drinking and driving. It is a big party night, where people might be more inclined to drink, then get behind the wheel compared to the average night.

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Should Halloween be moved to the weekend? Certainly, you can look at the statistics and decide for yourself. The statistics all point to the weekend being safer than the weekdays for Halloween.

How to Celebrate a COVID-19 Halloween Safely

“While Halloween will feel different this year, it doesn’t have to be canceled. Whether you are staying home or heading out into the neighborhood, there are creative ways to create a spook-tacular night for your children with a little planning and creativity.

Passing out candy – Put the candy in individual zipper bags and set the bags of candy out on a table or designate one adult with clean hands to pass them out to prevent kids from putting their hands in the same candy bowl.

You can also organize reverse trick-or-treating in your neighborhood where adults drive down the street and toss candy to kids in costumes in their yards or driveways.

Trick-or-treating – Avoid trick-or-treating in groups and take the same precautions necessary to keep everyone safe, such as wearing masks, keeping your distance, and using hand sanitizer. To make it a little more fun, incorporate cloth masks into your child’s costumes so they want to wear them.

Halloween parties – Health experts warn that it’s not a good idea to have any large gatherings, but if there is one family you have been in contact with during the pandemic, having a small get-together and letting your kids celebrate with a friend is a pretty safe bet.

Just make sure those in attendance are not at high risk, no one is exhibiting symptoms or has a fever and, of course, no one has tested positive for COVID-19 within the past several weeks.”

Do you think trick-or-treaters in your area are at increased risk this Halloween due to COVID-19?

“Even though it is Halloween, the nature of COVID-19 has not changed. The best way to reduce you and your family’s risk of exposure to COVID-19 is still to physically distance, practice good hand hygiene, and to wear a mask (for kids 2 years or older).

Halloween can be a time where large crowds of people gather together depending on where you live, which could potentially increase your family’s exposure to the virus.

I think we are going to see a spectrum of activity for this Halloween, with one end being that families may decide they are low-risk and want to participate in Halloween with no changes, and other families may feel that it isn’t worth the risk and decide to stay home.”

What are some steps homeowners can take to keep children safe while trick-or-treating?

“If families want to eliminate the risk of exposure to COVID-19, then they may not participate in Halloween in the traditional sense. They may keep their outside lights off and not open the door to greet trick-or-treaters.

If homeowners do want to participate in handing out candy, they have a unique opportunity to get creative with how to do so safely. I’ve heard of people creating “candy shoots” where they slide treats to trick-or-treaters in a contactless, but fun way. It’s very important that if you’re going to pass out candy, that it is individually wrapped.”

When do you expect Halloween parties to take place this year if at all? Are you concerned about the risks partiers put on the children in your community?

“Due to the increasing popularity of large community events, it seems that Halloween has become a month-long celebration. I anticipate parties happening as early as the first week of October. My recommendation is to skip large parties this year and to instead create new family Halloween traditions.

Kids can still dress up in costumes at home, they can watch family Halloween movies together, they can create Halloween-themed treats or arts and crafts. Parents or caregivers may go ahead and purchase their kids’ favorite Halloween candy, and perhaps create a scavenger hunt or an ‘Easter Egg hunt’ in the house for their kids to enjoy.”

Is your city or community doing anything to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on Halloween? Are any communities near you canceling trick-or-treating all together?

“Many large-scale community events have been canceled this year in my area. However, individual houses and communities have the choice to participate in Halloween festivities if they feel safe doing so. I continue to recommend practicing social distancing, good hand hygiene, and wearing a mask (for kids 2 years or older).”

Are you altering your plans in any way this Halloween?

“For us, our kids will not be trick-or-treating this year because of their age. Even last year (pre-COVID), they mentioned that they were happy staying home and passing out candy. So I think we will be staying home.

We won’t be passing out candy, but we will be watching some family Halloween movies together and I plan on buying some of their favorite Halloween candy from the grocery store.”

Dr. Jean Moorjani is a pediatrician at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.
She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Do you think trick-or-treaters in your area are at an increased risk this Halloween due to dangerous drivers or COVID-19?

“With what is going on currently in the city, I would be worried about both dangerous drivers and COVID-19. Halloween should be canceled. It’s too much risk for the kids and their families.”

What are some steps homeowners and/or drivers can take to keep children safe while trick-or-treating?

“The best thing to do is to keep children home and not go around to strangers’ houses. There is too much risk with so many people out there – lots of uncertainty. If there are several people celebrating Halloween, there could be a terrible spread of COVID. We don’t know the virus that well yet, so we cannot be sure what to expect.”

When do you expect Halloween parties to take place this year if at all? Are you concerned about the risks partiers put on the children in your community?

“Yes, I am very concerned, and I will not be attending the parties. I do believe these parties will make a giant spike in COVID-19 in all communities.”

Do you believe Halloween should permanently be moved to Saturday?

“It would be best for a weekend so parents can be able to oversee what’s going on more than usual.”

Do you have a personal story or something that happened in your area on a previous Halloween?

“It is not my favorite story, but a lot of children got sick from some either old or poisoned candy. I have hated Halloween all of my life partly due to this occasion.”

Is your city or community doing anything to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on Halloween? Are any communities near you canceling trick-or-treating all together?

“If I’m not mistaken Halloween has been canceled in my area (Brooklyn, NY), and it’s not going to be allowed.”

What measures will you take personally to stay safe this Halloween due to COVID-19 and fatal car accidents?

“I will be doing my best to stay off the road and be at home during the holiday. Even though it’s meant to be fun, now is simply not the best time for kids to be going door-to-door.”

Are you altering your plans in any way this Halloween?

“My Halloween is canceled and will not be happening due to COVID-19 and the political climate including the defunding of the police. I had COVID-19. It’s a horrible, terrible experience that I don’t wish on anyone. With everything that’s going on in NYC and in the tri-state area, it’s safest to stay home and not go trick-or-treating for candy.

The weather is getting colder and the streets darker earlier. Horrible drivers and COVID-19 are major reasons not to have kids running around the streets looking for candy.”

Zoriy Birenboym is an auto expert and the CEO of eAutoCollision.com.
His modern, online auto dealership makes the auto-leasing process easier.

“Homeowners should take a few extra steps to keep little trick-or-treaters safe on a night of both fun and mischief.

Since trick-or-treaters mostly greet you at the door, clear any walkways to your front door and make sure there’s plenty of lighting along the way. You can also clear your yard from any hazards like debris or tools, and keep your pets in a safe spot where they won’t get loose.

You might also leave the bowl of treats out along with some hand sanitizer and trust in the honor system when it comes to trick-or-treating. Social distance trick-or-treating at its finest.

Bonus fun tip: For kids who don’t like wearing their face masks, try a costume with built-in masks (think superheroes) with a normal mask under it. Make sure your house and car are covered in case of damage from holiday vandals. Halloween car vandalism saw a spike as high as 81 percent in reports when compared to the annual daily average.

Look for alternatives to walking busy neighborhoods like ‘trunk or treat,’ corn mazes, or other fun fall events. You will want to avoid Halloween parties and larger gatherings.

You can always do the classic ‘lights off’ if your neighborhood is still active on Halloween night but you don’t want to participate. Make it clear that you will not be participating in this year’s events.

Granted this might make you more of a target for tricks since you provided no treats. If you have security cameras or even just a security sign alluding to you potentially having security cameras, it may deter would-be pranksters.”

Sarah George is a U.S. insurance writer at Finder.com.
She writes on complicated topics about insurance, business, and finance.

“As a parent, I plan on keeping our child at home for Halloween. There won’t be any traffic accidents in our home, but we’re essentially concerned with COVID-19.

We don’t want to risk our child’s health or our own health by going out into the neighborhood when there might be a lot of people out as well. This year’s holiday very well may be one of the safer Halloweens with regards to traffic accidents and child fatalities, as many parents are going to overrule any desires for children to go trick-or-treating.

With a lingering quarantine as well, there will be fewer people out driving around; there are no bars open, for example, so there will be less travel for events. So you pair the decreased amount of drivers with the decreased amount of pedestrians, and you get a decreased rate of traffic incidents.

COVID-19 risks are still high. Any parents who take their children out should be sure to have them wear gloves and masks — either scary masks or face masks — and be prepared to sanitize all the candy and snacks that are given out.

Parents can wash off the wrapping and packages and wait a few hours before they let their children eat them. The best safety measure is for households to leave bowls of candy out so there’s limited social interaction between strangers. Parents can also make judgment calls on whether or not they want to stop at houses that seem to be having parties.

It’s likely that many groups of people will have small get-togethers, but it’s borderline impossible to tell people what they can or cannot do in their own homes, and we simply have to protect our children as best we can.

I’m primarily concerned about the future risks partiers have on the children in our community.

All it takes is one person to infect an entire group, and if that happens at a Halloween party, in the following days, there could be an increased illness rate.

The worst part is that Halloween sets up for Thanksgiving, and even though it’s already unfortunate that our children are missing out on a Halloween experience, it would be even worse to have any of them fall ill over the holidays. — not specifically because of the holidays, but because it’s peak flu season, and there will naturally be more people who are sick and need treatment.”

Farid Yaghoubtil, Esq. is a senior partner at Downtown L.A. Law Group.
Farid has won over $250 million in auto accident cases alone.

“Although many folks are planning to enjoy Halloween from home this year, it is reasonable to expect a number of trick-or-treaters of all ages. We must all keep a watchful eye for the safety of our families and community members, especially young children.

All business owners, homeowners, and renters should inspect their properties to make sure there are no dangerous conditions or tripping hazards before this Halloween.

Tape down wires and extension cords for any decorations. Replace any dead light bulbs and keep your properties well-lit for safety. Restrict access to swimming pools and bodies of water that may attract children who could drown.

All drivers should keep a lookout for trick-or-treaters in the road, on sidewalks, and in driveways. Since Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, all drivers should expect trick-or-treaters to be out early and late into the night. Historically, Halloween is a holiday that sees an uptick in drinking and driving fatalities.

Folks may choose to avoid public transportation or rideshares like Uber or Lyft to stay safe this Halloween.

We all have to make choices, and these choices are especially difficult this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the pandemic is no excuse for negligent driving or drunk driving.

For those who are choosing to celebrate Halloween with alcohol this year, please make a plan in advance so that you can stay home or get home safely. By following these simple precautions, you can protect yourself and others. Be careful, be safe, and have a happy Halloween.”

Justin Effres is a personal injury lawyer at Effres & Associates.
He represents plaintiffs in catastrophic injury and wrongful death lawsuits.

Frequently Asked Questions: Dangers of Halloween

We’ve covered Halloween fatal crashes overall, those involving children, and those involving pedestrians. Let’s get to your frequently asked questions about the dangers of and the safety tips for Halloween.

#1 – What dangers exist on Halloween night?

There are few dangers that exist on Halloween that we haven’t covered. When it comes to jack-o-lanterns, one of the issues is the candle inside the pumpkin. That can lead to issues like fire hazards.

Another is kidnapping or pet fright. There have been cases where an individual has kidnapped a child who was trick-or-treating. Pet fright can also be an issue with so many people ringing doorbells or speaking to a homeowner through an open door.

Finally, there have been situations where children have found needles in candy. The recommendation here is for parents to always inspect a child’s candy for any dangers before the child eats it.

#2 – How many deaths happen on Halloween?

When it comes to child and pedestrian deaths, the number of them dying doubles on Halloween. This is due to drunk driving, poor visibility conditions, and the party atmosphere among adults.

#3 – Why is Halloween sometimes viewed as “bad” for kids?

It is bad from a few standpoints: We have covered the problems that children face with deadly car crashes, often due to poor visibility conditions and drunk driving.

There are further issues like needles in candy, being kidnapped, or fire hazards within jack-o-lanterns.

#4 – What are five Halloween safety tips?

Five Halloween safety tips are:

  1. Have your child wear reflexive tape or carry glowsticks while trick-or-treating.
  2. Always accompany your child while they are trick-or-treating, including all the way to the door.
  3. Inspect your child’s candy before they eat it.
  4. Plan your night rather than just spontaneously going wherever.
  5. Make sure your child’s costume is free of dangerous materials.

Following these tips increases the likelihood that your child will have a safe Halloween and decreases the risk of many safety issues.

#5 – How many kids get hit by a car on Halloween?

According to our statistical analysis, children are involved in an average of 8.3 fatal crashes for Halloween nights between 1994 and 2018. That is 4.2 fatal crashes higher than the average day for fatal crashes involving children.

#6 – How can I protect myself on Halloween?

Some tips for protecting your children while trick-or-treating include making sure your child uses the sidewalk, crossing at the ends of streets or in crosswalks, and to put devices like cellphones in pockets before crossing the street.

For adults on Halloween, one of the best ways to protect yourself is to use a rideshare company like Uber or Lyft the entire night to make sure you’re getting to each destination safely and to avoid drinking and driving.

#7 – Is Halloween safe for kids?

While Halloween may be safe overall for many children, there are dangers like car crashes, kidnapping, and needles within candy, which can lead a parent to be more protective and aware than on the average day or holiday.

#8 – What are some safety rules for trick-or-treating?

In addition to the safety tips we’ve already mentioned, one safety rule that can decrease the danger of issues like kidnapping is always trick-or-treating in groups. This may deter a criminal from kidnapping a child, especially if there are adults accompanying the children while they trick-or-treat.

#9 – Is Halloween the most dangerous holiday?

According to our study about the 10 most deadly holidays to drive, Independence Day ranked No. 1 with an average of just under 450 fatal crashes dating back three years. On Independence Day, drunk driving accounted for between 30 and 32 percent of all fatal crashes.

#10 – Why Halloween is dangerous?

Halloween is dangerous in the same way that many holidays are dangerous: A high percentage of people party, drink, and then drive, resulting in more fatal crashes than on a typical night. A difference between Halloween and other holidays is that Halloween features more children and pedestrian on the sides of the roads, making this a particular dangerous holiday for those subgroups.

#11 – How many deaths occur on Halloween?

Deaths on Halloween vary significantly depending on whether Halloween falls on a weekday or weekend. The safest Halloween was in 2012, when the holiday fell on a Wednesday. There were a total of 80 fatal crashes. The most dangerous Halloween was in 2004, when the holiday fell on a Sunday. There were 143 fatal crashes.

#12 – What is the deadliest holiday?

We’ve noted that Independence Day has been the most dangerous holiday for the past three years. However, on a year to year basis, Labor Day and Memorial Day are two other holidays that see a high number of fatal crashes and are consistently at the top of rankings for the most dangerous holidays to drive.

#13 – What is the most dangerous night of the year to drive?

The most dangerous night of the year to drive — according to reputation — is New Year’s Eve. Dubbed the “amateur drinkers” holiday, New Year’s Eve see a lot of people drinking to the point of intoxication, then driving. This results in a spike of drunk driving fatal crashes that night.

#14 – What day has the most car crashes?

Saturday has consistently been the most dangerous day to drive for a number of years, averaging a number of fatal crashes much higher than even the second-most dangerous day (Sunday). Reasons for this include the high amount of traffic with more people off work and the dangers of partying on Saturday night, such as drunk driving.

#15 – What time are most drunk drivers out?

Most drunk drivers are out between midnight and 3 am, making this one of the deadliest times to drive. Other issues during this time period include lack of visibility, drowsy drivers, and drivers under the influence of other drugs.

#16 – What state has the best drivers?

According to our 2021 study of the best drivers in the U.S. by state, Massachusetts is the state with the best drivers. It had the lowest traffic death rate of all states and was ranked in the top 10 for all metrics except for one. It has ranked in the top 10 of states with the best drivers for the past four years as well.

#17 – How many people are killed in car accidents each year?

Close to 1.35 million people are killed in car accidents every year throughout the world, with the US seeing over 30,000 traffic deaths routinely year after year. In the US, this is a large drop from 1978 through 1980 when there were over 50,000 traffic deaths per year.

Methodology: Analyzing the Danger of Halloween

For this 25-year study, our researchers analyzed fatal crash reports from the NHTSA for three broad categories:

  1. Fatal car crashes between 1994 and 2018
  2. Fatal car crashes involving pedestrians between 1994 and 2018
  3. Fatal car crashes involving children (ages 0-17 after 4 p.m.) between 2004 and 2018

From those fatal crash reports, we collected over 210,000 data points. Then our research team put together an in-depth, intricate, and detailed report about fatal crashes on Halloween for all of the United States and specifically for children and pedestrians.

The insurance rate information came from our in-house statistics. If you enjoyed this study, check out more of our deep dives into issues like accidents, commutes, and social factors like the coronavirus pandemic on our features page.

And if you’re ready to find the best auto insurance rates for you and your situation, just input your ZIP code into our FREE online quote generator. Halloween or no Halloween, saving money is important and the right auto insurance company can make all the difference.

Previous Results for This Study:

  • Deadliest Days for Halloween 2019

  1. https://www.nhtsa.gov/
  2. https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/drunk-driving/buzzed-driving-drunk-driving/halloween
  3. https://www.iihs.org/


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