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VERIFY: Yes, Halloween is the deadliest day of the year for child pedestrians

Drivers are asked to go slowly, and parents should supervise their trick-or-treaters closely.

WASHINGTON — Halloween is right around the corner, and kids everywhere will take to the streets Monday night in search of candy and fun. We’ve brought you stories on everything from trick-or-treat age restrictions to the best things to do this Halloween, but it’s time we talk about trick-or-treater safety.

No, we’re not talking about razors in candy bars. Some people online are claiming Halloween is the deadliest day of the year for pedestrians under 18 years old.


So, is Halloween the deadliest day of the year for pedestrians under the age of 18?



This is true.

Yes, Halloween is the deadliest year for young pedestrians under the age of 18. And it’s not even close.


This graph shows the total number of child pedestrians who died on any given day between 2011 and 2020. That orange bar towering over the others represents October 31st - i.e. Halloween. 

Credit: Bryce Robinson - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

In those ten years, 37 children under the age of 18 were struck and killed by drivers on Halloween. That’s four times the daily average during those same years.

If we expand the search to go back twenty years, the trend remains the same. 67 child pedestrians died on Halloween between 2001 and 2020, three times more than the daily  average. 

Credit: Bryce Robinson - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Unfortunately, not only is Halloween the single most dangerous day for young pedestrians, it’s 3-4 times more deadly than the rest of the year.

So, coming into Halloween this Monday, it’s up to all of us - drivers, parents, children, and passersby - to help keep kids safe this Halloween.

RELATED: Is there a legal age limit to trick-or-treat?

“We're asking drivers to make sure that when you're going through a residential area, slow down, pay attention at those intersections.” said Tara Gerhard, Public Information Officer for Fairfax County Police. “You know, kids are notorious for darting out between cars, they're so excited for Halloween, and they want to get as much candy as possible. So just be extra vigilant.”

Mayor Bowser had this to say:

“We want everybody, all the adults to make sure children are being well supervised, and that they are wearing costumes that are well fitting so they're not tripping or falling, and that they can see in those costumes.”

Whoever you are - parent or kid, driver or pedestrian, Halloween hater or spooky enthusiast - we can all help keep kids safe on Halloween. Let's do what we can to keep this year’s holiday only scary in the fun way.

RELATED: Virginia Attorney General warns about THC edibles at Halloween after middle school incident

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