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PRESS RELEASE: Pedestrian fatalities increase on Halloween, particularly among children

Children are more likely to be fatally struck by a vehicle on Halloween than on other nights of the year, according to new research led by the University of British Columbia.

The study, published today in JAMA Pediatrics, found a 43-per-cent increase in the risk of pedestrian death on Halloween compared to control days one week earlier and one week later. For children between four and eight years of age, the risk of pedestrian fatality was 10 times higher on Halloween than on control days.

“Collecting ‘trick-or-treat’ candy from neighbours has been a Halloween tradition among children for over a century, and adult Halloween parties have become increasingly popular in bars and on campuses across North America,” said lead researcher Dr. John Staples, clinical assistant professor in the UBC faculty of medicine and scientist at UBC’s Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences. “We wondered if the combination of dark costumes, excitement and alcohol made the streets more dangerous for pedestrians. Our findings suggest that it does.”

Read the full UBC press release.