Freakonomics has reported at length on the human tendency to worry about rare problems. And perhaps because of this, we’ve been in the vanguard of the campaign against drunk walking, which on a per-mile basis is, believe it or not, 8 times more likely to result in a death than drunk driving. (Please note: this is not an excuse to drive drunk; rather, it is a caution against thinking that walking drunk is safe.)
And so a recent article from Christopher Shea at the WSJ Ideas Blog caught our eye, because it so perfectly combines these two obsessions. Shea writes that a razor blade in an apple on Halloween is a myth, and has probably never happened. Pedestrian deaths, however, are four times higher on October 31 than an average day, because so many more people are wandering around outside. We at Freakonomics would like to add that some of those Halloween revelers (the adults at least) are also more likely to be inebriated, which no doubt explains some of the accidents.