FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — In terms of fatal car accidents involving children and pedestrians, Saturdays are the safest day for Halloweens, according to a study conducted by autoinsurance.org.
“We were really surprised that Saturday is actually the safest,” said Nelson Garcia, the Public Relations representative for autoinsurance.org. “Whenever Halloween falls on a Saturday, there’s a decrease in fatal accidents involving children and pedestrians.”
One reason the auto insurance group began researching this topic is because of a change.org campaign that wanted to change Halloween to a Saturday because they believed it was safer. Well, it turns out the campaign’s claims were true, according to the study.
The study analyzed fatal car crashes over the last 25 years, comparing the average number that involved children on non-Halloween days to the number each Halloween had involving children from 0 to 17 years old after 4 p.m.
It found Halloweens that fall on Saturdays saw the smallest increase in fatal crashes involving children, at 54%, which is a five percent reduction compared to the number of fatal crashes on that average day.
“That’s still a lot, but it’s a lot less than when [Halloween] falls on other days,” Garcia.
Although there aren’t any specific facts to support why Saturdays are safer, Garcia said the relaxed dynamic of weekends could be a factor.
“People have the whole day to plan, things are a little slower, and people aren’t necessarily rushing to work from anywhere,” said Garcia, “So that could definitely come into play.”
Sundays findings were similar to Saturdays, with Saturday still being the safer of the two.
On the other hand, the study found that Halloweens that fall on weekdays saw the highest increase in fatal crashes involving children. Fridays are the deadliest day for Halloween with an average of 129 fatal crashes.
“When it falls on a weekday, I think, the day feels more condensed and people probably need to rush home by a certain time to get the kids trick or treating before it’s too dark out,” said Garcia. “That could probably contribute to the accidents.”
He said people who don’t have kids going out and partying could also be a contributing factor.
In general, Halloween is a relatively dangerous day when it comes to fatal car accidents, with a 130% increase compared to non-Halloween days.
The study found that people below the age of 18 are involved in an average of 8.3 fatal crashes on between 4 p.m. and midnight on Halloween, whereas children have been involved in an average of 4.1 on other days.
“We looked at what’s the number one cause of fatal accidents on Halloween and they’re all alcohol related.”
Not surprisingly, drunk driving is the top cause of deadly crashes on the holiday.
Garcia hopes Saturday being the safest day for Halloween will provide some relief to families celebrating, however, he said everyone should still be cautious.
“Saturday is the safest day for Halloween, said Garcia. “But still, people should be vigilant when they’re out trick or treating and drivers should also be vigilant of pedestrians and children.”
To see the full study for yourself, click here.