The Deadliest Days for Halloween [2021 Report: 25-Year Study]

Friday is the deadliest day for Halloween, having 22% more fatal crashes on a Halloween compared to the average Friday. The most dangerous days of the week for Halloween generally fall during the week, with Friday (1), Tuesday (2), Sunday (3), and Thursday (4) making up the four worst days for this spooky holiday. Saturday is the safest day for Halloween by far and the only day to show a decrease in fatal crashes compared to the average.

Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and ...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 10, 2021

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Things to Remember

  • 18% of the people who die in fatal crashes on Halloween are children
  • Pedestrians have a 50% higher chance of dying on Halloween than on the average day
  • Weekday Halloweens have 11% more fatal crashes than weekend Halloweens
  • Saturday Halloweens are safer for driving than the typical Saturdays

Halloween is the night of trick-or-treaters and candy, where children in costumes of ghouls and skeletons meet peanut butter bars and cookies.

Although this holiday is family-friendly on one end, there is a side with partying and drinking. These two sides often meet on the streets of neighborhoods where partygoers drink and drive and threaten the lives of trick-or-treaters or pedestrians.

But what if there were a solution to this problem?

In this article about the deadliest days for Halloween, we explore the growing push to move Halloween to a Saturday. Looking at the most deadly Halloweens over the past 25 years, we’ll determine whether this move is backed by data.

The graphic below shows the 10 most dangerous Halloweens in the past 25 years. You’ll see that just two of them fall on a weekend and none of them are on a Saturday.

deadliest Halloweens

If you’re on this page, you’re likely interested in how Halloween fatal crashes impact auto insurance as well. We cover that, including the worst auto insurance companies to have if you get in an accident.

If you plan on driving during Halloween, you run the risk of getting into an accident. What are the different types of auto insurance you might need to protect yourself? Knowing the coverages you need can save you money down the road. This is true on Halloween too.

So, which are the deadliest days for Halloween, as captured in our 25-year study? Let’s get started.

Deadliest Halloweens for Children in the Past 15 Years

Unfortunately, Halloween poses some unique dangers for pedestrians and children, especially at night. Drunk or distracted drivers combined with dark costumes spell danger for both drivers and pedestrians.

The graph below shows the past 15 Halloweens and the number of children that have been killed in car crashes. You can find the total number of people killed those nights on the second-to-last column and the percentage of children killed out of all fatal crash victims in the last column.

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The percentage of children that are killed out of all people killed in car crashes on Halloween night varies quite a bit.

On the low end, just two out of the 43 people killed in traffic accidents on Halloween night in 2019 were children (4.65%). On the high end, 14 out of 29 people killed on Halloween night in traffic accidents during 2014 were children (48.28%).

There were also 14 child deaths out of the 39 total in 2006, making it the second deadliest Halloween for children (35.9%). However, since 1995, the majority of Halloween nights totaled between five and nine child deaths in traffic accidents

While you might think that weekends would be the worst culprit here, the data shows that weekdays (Monday-Friday) comprise eight out of the worst 10 spots with an average of 18.78% of traffic deaths being children. Saturday and Sunday Halloween nights see just 11.92% of traffic deaths being children.

Statistics like these are a grim reminder for parents to talk to their children about Halloween night safety.

The Deadliest Day for Halloween Involving Pedestrians

We know that Halloween can be dangerous for children, so how about for pedestrians as a whole? To find out, we looked at the percentage of accidents involving pedestrians from 2005 to 2019. That number: 15.18%. How does this compare to Halloweens?

The table below shows the percentage of accidents pedestrians have been involved in on Halloween night for that same period, ranked by severity. The average is 28.48%.

Pedestrians Involved in Fatal Crashes on Halloween [2005-2019]
Day of Week
% Pedestrian

The lowest percentage is 21.21% in 2008 and the highest is 41.67% in 2017. Both are dramatically higher than the general percentage. If you compared the weekends to weekdays, you can see that a pedestrian has a higher chance of being involved in a fatal crash on a weekday than on a weekend:

  • Saturday-Sunday percentage of pedestrian-involved fatal crashes: 26.67%
  • Monday-Friday percentage of pedestrian-involved fatal crashes: 28.84%

Both are high and neither is great. Weekends still prove to be safer, however, for pedestrians on Halloween night.

Weekday vs. Weekend Halloween Fatal Car Crashes

Yes, Halloween nights can pose a specific danger for children and pedestrians, especially during the week. But are they dangerous for everyone?

Take a look at the following graphic, which shows the difference in fatal crashes that happen on Halloween nights versus those nights in general. It gets ugly during the week, much more so than on the weekend.

It turns out that weekday Halloweens are more dangerous than weekend Halloweens. Halloweens that fall between Monday and Friday see an average increase in fatal crashes of 16.30% compared to the average fatal crashes on the same, non-Halloween days.

Halloweens that fall on Saturday and Sunday see a rise of just 5.30% in fatal crashes compared to the average fatal crashes on a regular Saturday or Sunday.

Now, we’ve established that Halloweens falling on the weekdays are worse for children, pedestrians, and the general population. Drunk driving is a big deal on Halloween nights and as we saw in our study “Drunk Driving Rates by State,” some states fare better than others.

Knowing the challenges in your area can lead to a better plan come Halloween or another holiday night. Next, we’ll dive into the deadliest day of the week overall for Halloween.

Deadliest Day for Halloween Overall

To determine the deadliest day of the week for Halloween, we looked at the number of fatal crashes that fell on a Halloween day compared to that day on average. So, Tuesday Halloween fatal crashes versus the number of fatal crashes on an average Tuesday. What we found may shock you:

Friday is the most dangerous night for Halloween, with Friday Halloweens seeing 21.86% more fatal crashes compared to the average Friday.

The safest night for Halloweens is Saturday, with Saturday Halloweens seeing 4.34% fewer fatal crashes compared to the average Saturday.

The full list is:

  • Monday: +13.89%
  • Tuesday: +18.01%
  • Wednesday: +8.42%
  • Thursday: +15.51%
  • Friday: +21.86%
  • Saturday: -4.34%
  • Sunday: +15.60%

Now, overall, what have been the most dangerous Halloweens since 1995?

5 Deadliest and Safest Halloweens Since 1995

How dangerous is dangerous when it comes to Halloween? The table below ranks the worst five Halloweens over the past 25 years:

Deadliest Halloweens Over the Past 25 Years [1995 - 2019]
Day of the Week
Halloween Fatal Crashes
Avg. Daily Fatal Crashes
Fatal Crash Difference (+/-)
Fatal Crash Difference (%)

Each of the Halloweens had over 27% more fatal crashes than on the average day, with the worst of the worst being Halloween on Thursday in 1996. That Halloween saw a jump of nearly 40% in fatal crashes.

Fortunately, our progress over the past 25 years hasn’t been all downhill. Here are the safest Halloweens, with each seeing a drop in fatal crashes compared to the average.

Safest Halloweens Over the Past 25 Years [1995-2019]
Day of the Week
Halloween Fatal Crashes
Avg. Daily Fatal Crashes
Fatal Crash Difference (+/-)
Fatal Crash Difference (%)

All of the safest Halloweens had at least 4.43% fewer fatal crashes compared to that corresponding day’s fatal crash average. Two Halloween Saturdays saw fatal crash totals at least 11% less than that day’s average.

Moving Halloween to Saturday: 3 Supporting Statistics

To recap, here are three statistics that support the petition to move Halloween to a Saturday:

  1. Saturdays experience the only decline in fatal crashes on a Halloween at 4.34%
  2. Monday-Friday Halloweens show a rise in fatal crashes at 16.30%
  3. Weekend Halloweens show a much smaller increase in child deaths on Halloween

Now, let’s analyze the insurance impact.

Impact of Car Crashes on Auto Insurance

Car crashes have a damaging impact on auto insurance rates, with some companies increasing annual rates over $600 after one accident. The graph below ranks the auto insurance companies with the highest price increase after one accident.

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You can see that Progressive is the worst with a jump of nearly 65.54% in rates after one accident. All five companies have jumps of at least 43.97% in rates, including Allstate, which has an average rate that jumps over $850.

Halloween has dangerous consequences for children, pedestrians, the general population, and auto insurance rates. Our conclusion, and what the data shows, is that moving Halloween to a Saturday is likely the best outcome for all involved.

Thought Leaders Weigh In on Halloween Driving Dangers

Here we have a diverse crew of thought leaders — from a lawyer to a trip advisor to a life coach — who talk about the dangers of Halloween driving and how you can say safe if you’re a partier or keep your children safe if you’re a parent.

What are some reasons that Halloween makes U.S. roads more dangerous than the average day?

“According to AAA and the NHTSA, Halloween is the single deadliest day of the year for child pedestrians. They are three times more likely to be struck and killed on Halloween than on any other day.

Contributing factors include kids on the roads, costumes that do not reflect light, distracted driving, impaired driving, and inadequate supervision, among other factors.”

How can partiers, if they need to drive, stay safe on Halloween?

“Here are some ways to stay safe on Halloween:

  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals. Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself extra time to react to children who may dart into the street. Drive even slower than that if confronted by snow-covered or icy streets from recent winter storms.
  • Look for children crossing the street. They may not be paying attention to traffic and may cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
  • Carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys.
  • Turn your headlights on to make yourself more visible, even in daylight.
  • Broaden your scanning by looking for children left and right into yards and on front porches.
  • Never drive impaired.
  • Never text and drive.

If you have been drinking, using marijuana (in the states where it is recreationally lawful), or taking prescription medications, do not get behind the wheel, period. Call an Uber, Lyft, taxi, or friend to pick you up.”

How can parents keep their children safe while trick-or-treating on Halloween?

“Make sure Halloween costumes are flame-retardant and light in color to improve visibility.

Be bright at night: Wear retro-reflective tape on costumes and treat buckets and carry glow sticks and flashlights. Make sure your flashlights have new batteries ahead of time. Wear disguises that don’t obstruct vision. Instead, use non-toxic face paint. Also, watch the length of billowy costumes to avoid tripping.

Ensure any props are flexible and blunt-tipped to avoid injury from tripping or horseplay.

Ask an adult or older child to supervise children under age 12, and stay in a pack. Don’t allow any of the kids to stray away from the pack.

Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along established routes. Teach them to stop only at well-lit houses and never to enter a stranger’s home or garage.

Finally, review trick-or-treating safety precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.”

Do you think moving Halloween to Saturday would make the holiday less dangerous?

“I think that parents should be hyper-vigilant about creating a safe environment for their kids if they want to trick or treat. That includes dressing kids in light-colored, reflective, and flame-retardant costumes that do not obstruct their vision. At the same time, children under 12 should be carefully supervised and taught never to enter a stranger’s home or garage.

Halloweens results in an average 14% rise in fatal car crashes, regardless of what night the holiday falls. That said, my concern about moving it to Saturday is that I would expect more drivers and partiers on the road on a Saturday night, some of whom will be impaired, which would increase the danger to pedestrians, and particularly trick-or-treaters.”

Do you have a personal story about the dangers related to driving and Halloween that you would like to share?

“Yes. About 10 years ago, my wife and I took our two boys out to trick-or-treat in our neighborhood. We were walking in a pack crossing the street around a blind curve. It was a small neighborhood street.

As we were crossing, we heard the loud rumble of an engine. We quickly moved to a secure place on the sidewalk. As we did, a teenager in our neighborhood sped by in a hotrod, never seeing us.

The lesson we learned is that other people will often be the ones to do something dangerous. It’s up to you and your children to be prepared for that. Just like we are told to drive defensively on Halloween, and frankly, anytime, we should be ‘defensive pedestrians’ as well.”

Marc Lamber

Marc Lamber is a public safety advocate and personal injury lawyer.
He has 20 years of experience representing car accident victims.

What are some reasons that Halloween makes U.S. roads more dangerous than the average day?

Reason 1: Drunk drivers from Halloween parties

When we think of the U.S., we usually think of Halloween. What we may not realize though, is that Halloween is one of the biggest party nights in the U.S. and the roads get temporarily filled with drunk drivers. Make sure you and your friends get home safely and call a sober friend if you need a ride.

Reason 2: More drivers and pedestrians out there

The hours between 3 and 11 p.m. are the most dangerous times to be on the road. As Halloween takes place between those hours, the risk of a car accident goes up even more. This is due to the fact that more drivers are out on the roadways, and there are more people out trick-or-treating and celebrating the holiday.

This makes the roadways more dangerous because there are more drivers and pedestrians out there at once, which increases the risk of an accident.

Reason 3: Drivers’ minds are not on the road

All the decorations, costumes, and parties can distract drivers. Plus, everyone is in a rush to get back to their parties after work, which also makes for more accidents.

This statistic shows the Halloween celebration plans of consumers in the United States in 2020 by gender. In 2020, 19% of female and 25% of male respondents stated they were planning to throw or attend a party as part of their Halloween festivities.”

How can partiers, if they need to drive, stay safe on Halloween?

“On Halloween, there’s a lot of partying, and people partake in excessive alcohol consumption, which can impair their vision and motor skills. But we can help prevent drunk driving and keep our communities and families safe by providing tips and resources and encouraging responsible behavior.

Partying with friends then driving home can put you or others at risk. If you plan to drink, then you should plan to designate a driver.

After you get to one party, try and leave some time to sober up before driving. Take a rest, breathe deeply, and drink some water, and make sure you aren’t driving while under the influence. And if some party is too far away or too dangerous to drive to, consider catching a ride with a sober driver or grabbing a taxi.

Pro tip: If you plan to host a party with alcohol involved, issue drink tickets to your guests before the party to limit excessive alcohol consumption. It will not only keep your guests from drunk driving but also help you budget appropriately.

If you need to be strict in your enforcement, print each ticket with the guest’s name and caution them before the party that drink tickets are non-transferable.”

How can parents keep their children safe while trick-or-treating on Halloween?

“Halloween is a big night for kids and parents. It’s a night of candy and costumes and scary stories. While it is the season for fun and candy and plenty of holiday cheer, there’s also the very real and very dangerous possibility of getting hurt. This is not just a concern for adults but also for children.

By following a few precautions, you can make sure that your child is safe from harm.

It’s important to plan a night where you can keep a close eye on your child in a safe neighborhood or have them go with a group of children rather than going alone. You can also have them wear a glow-in-the-dark bracelet, or you can give them a reflective vest or scarf to tie around their neck so they’ll be seen by cars.

Make sure you have a flashlight or headlamp if you plan to be out later than dusk. It’s also important to keep your phone on you.

In a survey conducted in September 2020 in the U.S., 65% of millennial parents were planning to allow their children to go trick-or-treating. That figure stood at 51% for Generation Z and Generation X parents.”

Do you think moving Halloween to Saturday would make the holiday less dangerous?

“I don’t think that moving Halloween to Saturday would have any effect on how dangerous it is. People are still just as likely to have parties with alcohol, have trick-or-treaters being careless crossing the street, have zombies drunk off their brains running around with no sense of self-preservation, etc.

All the dangerous things that go on Halloween would still occur on Saturday, so I don’t think it would have any effect on how dangerous the holiday is.”

Do you have a personal story about the dangers related to driving and Halloween that you would like to share?

“Although it’s not a personal story, I would like to share a Halloween experience from a young employee of my small business. Some years back, he had a little brother that was trick-or-treating with his friends. After trick or treating, they were walking home.

A driver was speeding down the street at around 10 p.m. He couldn’t see my employee’s brother, who was walking in front of his friends, with all the decorations still out on Halloween. The driver hit his brother. His brother was fine after the accident. He might have had a small cut on his head, but that was it. The driver was arrested for speeding.”

Robert Fleeman

Robert Fleeman is an author and life coach.
He helps others learn to enjoy life while being responsible.

What are some reasons that Halloween makes U.S. roads more dangerous than the average day?

“Everyone who’s of legal drinking age is on party mode on Halloween night. And since many of these are house parties, a lot of these young people have a false sense regarding the safety of driving after having a few drinks, thinking that they live nearby each other.

And it’s these acts of negligence that cause many preventable road mishaps.”

How can partiers, if they need to drive, stay safe on Halloween?

“Get a designated driver who isn’t allowed even a drop of alcohol the whole night. If you all end up getting hammered, consider staying the night. And if you can’t handle your drink, stay off the booze.”

How can parents keep their children safe while trick-or-treating on Halloween?

“There’s only so much you can do, and in this case, pick them up yourself. Personally, I wouldn’t trust a teenager behind the wheel, especially when it comes to such parties.”

Do you think moving Halloween to Saturday would make the holiday less dangerous?

“I don’t think so. As long as there is irresponsible behavior, these accidents will happen.

I once had a near-head-on collision experience on Halloween night in 2009. The other vehicle was practically driving in a zigzag towards my direction on a two-lane road.

Luckily, I was traveling at a normal speed and I was able to swerve out of harm’s way. I was still side-swiped and lost a side mirror, but it easily could’ve been worse.”

Jack Miller

Jack Miller is the founder of How I Get Rid Of.
He has years of experience navigating busy, dangerous roads.

“Experiencing thousands of emotions is one of the best things a traveler loves. And one night full of emotions and fun is the night of trick-or-treating or Halloween.

For children and pedestrians, this holiday is great fun. For the drivers, however, it’s one of the most dangerous nights to drive as the children are walking on the road. There’s a lack of visibility, and since children are wearing different weird costumes, this can be distracting too. It’s advisable to drive slowly and be extra careful throughout your drive to avoid any mishap.

You should never drink and drive, especially on the night of Halloween.

The parents should keep watch and tell their children to stay in groups and walk on the sidewalks and crosswalks. Also, parents should have their children avoid any home that looks suspicious or vacant. Let your child carry a phone for safety reasons and tell them to be extra careful and go to the houses that are brightly lit.

Moving Halloween to a Saturday, despite what you may think, will make children more at risk of and prone to injuries. Since Saturday is on the weekend and people drink more on the weekend than on weeknights, this increases the risks of accidents and makes it more dangerous.

The biggest danger on Halloween is trick-or-treating. Kids are most excited about Halloween and due to this, they don’t even pay attention to their surroundings or traffic. Plus, it’s dark, which makes it dangerous for both children and adults in some way.”

Alex Hernborg

Axel Hernborg is the CEO of Tripplo.
He provides safe travel tips and safety advice.

The Past 25 Halloween Statistics

Below is a table that shows the full statistics for all of the Halloweens in our study, dating back to 1995:

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Frequently Asked Questions: Dangers of Halloween

If you want to learn more about how many driving deaths are on Halloween and all things related to Halloween and driving, read on. We’re keeping mostly to driving and culture, so no topics like how many murders happen on Halloween or what are the upcoming Halloween dates.

#1 – Is Halloween the most dangerous day of the year for driving?

Our statistics show that Halloween is not the most dangerous day of the year for driving, though it ranks No. 8 in our list of the deadliest holidays to drive with an average of 396 fatal crashes during its holiday period. It is routinely in the worst 10 of the deadliest holidays to drive and poses special dangers to children and pedestrians.

#2 – How many driving deaths are on Halloween?

It varies quite a bit depending on what day of the week it falls on, but over the past 25 years, Halloween fatal crashes have ranged from 143 (Sunday of 2004) to 77 (Thursday of 2019).

Overall, Halloween fatal crashes are showing a downward trend with the last three Halloweens (2017-2019) registering less than 90 fatal crashes overall.

#3 – Is Halloween a dangerous driving day?

Yes, Halloween is a dangerous driving day with it ranked as the 8th-most dangerous holiday to drive, just behind Mother’s Day and Cinco de Mayo.

It poses unique problems for children and pedestrians, with both groups seeing a higher level of involvement in fatal crashes on Halloween than on a typical day.

#4 – What is the truth behind Halloween?

The tradition behind Halloween originated in a pagan festival called Samhain, celebrated in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. During the festival, participants would create a bonfire, then wear masks to ward off ghosts.

#5 – Who does not celebrate Halloween?

Jehovah’s Witness participants, some Christians, and some Orthodox Jews all do not celebrate Halloween for various reasons.

Jehovah’s Witness participants generally do not celebrate holidays, some Christians believe Halloween is associated with paganism, and some Orthodox Jews consider Halloween more secular than religious and therefore do not celebrate it.

#6 – Why is Halloween bad for driving?

Halloween poses unique challenges for drivers and pedestrians and especially between partygoers who drink and drive and children. The reason is that many partygoers, when Halloween falls on a weekday, may drink and drive.

At the same time, there are more people on the road, on sidewalks, and walking around in public due to the trick-or-treating aspect of the holiday. Because this occurs at night, drivers must be especially aware to avoid any pedestrians, children in dark costumes, or children who suddenly dart out into the street.

#7 – Why do we say trick or treat?

Trick-or-treating is said to have originated from the custom in Ireland and Scotland of “guising” or “mumming,” where people recited a rhyme or performed a trick for a treat. It wasn’t always well-received in America, especially before the 1950s, but has since become synonymous with Halloween.

#8 – Why do teens still drink and drive?

Many teens still drink and drive because of inexperience when drinking and the effect alcohol can have on impacting decision-making. Because it disrupts decision-making processes, teenagers may underestimate the impact a drink is having on their ability to drive, such as alcohol’s known effect of slowing down reaction times.

#9 – Can you sue a minor for a car accident?

Yes, if you are involved in a car accident, you can sue a minor, provided that they are old enough to be held liable for their behavior. It is possible to regain financial compensation for your injuries, but normally this occurs when a minor reaches the age of 18 and starts earning money.

Methodology: Analyzing the Danger of Halloween

For this study, we looked at every day for the past 25 years to gather numerous statistics:

  • Number of fatal crashes
  • Day of the week
  • Daily average of fatal crashes for each year

After gathering those statistics, we determined the average fatal crashes for each day of the week, for each Halloween night, including day-before and day-after statistics, and the difference between the fatal crashes on Halloweens vs. their respective day-of-the-week averages.

We also gathered separate statistics for children killed in fatal crashes and pedestrians involved in fatal crashes. All of these statistics came from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Crash Report Sampling System (CRSS).

With those statistics, we built the sections of the article and determined that Saturday is the best day for Halloween, far more so than any other day of the week.

Previous Results for This Study

Child Deaths in Fatal Crashes on Halloween Night [1995-2019]
Worst Car Insurance Companies for Getting in an Accident
Fatal Crashes on Halloween Day
Child Deaths in Fatal Crashes on Halloween Night [1995-2019]
Worst Car Insurance Companies for Getting in an Accident
Fatal Crashes on Halloween Day