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Scarier than ghosts: Study finds pedestrian safety on Halloween has outsize impact on where you trick-or-treat

By Analytics Team | October 23, 2018


  • A vast majority -- 74 percent -- of parents said pedestrian safety on Halloween affected where they let their kids go trick-or-treating.
  • Ninety percent of those polled said distracted driving due to smartphone use and texting made trick-or-treating more dangerous today than it was ten years ago.
  • Kids are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year.
  • Sixty-two percent of people with kids trick-or-treating chose their kids’ costumes or altered them to be more visible at night.

Full story:
Forget ghosts and goblins: the scariest thing about Halloween night is pedestrian safety, a new study by Autolist.com has found. And it’s smartphones that get the blame.

Seventy-four percent of survey respondents with kids trick-or-treating on Halloween night said pedestrian safety directly affected where they let their kids go that night. Nineteen percent said it didn’t change where their kids went trick-or-treating and seven percent were unsure.

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Autolist surveyed 1,140 current car shoppers about their views on pedestrian safety on Halloween in the middle of October. The study also found that people believe the dangers for kids trick-or-treating have gotten worse as a result of more drivers using their smartphones while behind the wheel.

Ninety percent of respondents said they believed drivers on Halloween were more distracted today by smartphones and/or texting than they were ten years ago. Five percent of respondents said drivers were not more distracted and the remaining five percent were unsure.

Worries about pedestrian safety on Halloween are well-founded: the National Safety Council says that children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween night than on any other day of the year.

Despite these potential distractions, fifty-six percent of Autolist respondents said they still believed people drove more carefully because it was Halloween; 25 percent said people drove the same, eight percent said people drove less carefully and 11 percent were unsure.

Pedestrian safety also played a role in what respondents let their kids wear on Halloween, Autolist found.

Sixty-two percent of consumers with kids trick-or-treating on Halloween said visibility played a role in what costume they let their kids wear or that they added measures to the costumes to make them more visible. A third of respondents (33 percent) said visibility played no role in their kids’ costume while the remaining five percent were unsure.

More than half of the respondents to Autolist’s survey said they and their kids were mobile in some capacity on Halloween; 55 percent said they planned to either walk around local neighborhoods, drive to a neighborhood or drive to a party, gathering place or community center to celebrate Halloween.